TEHRAN – Iran has sent two warships to Gulf of Aden to protect its trade vessels and establishing its military presence in waters off Yemen, Tasnim news agency reported on Friday.

Iranian fleet would head to waters near Somalia and Tanzania and through the Indian Ocean.

“Iran’s Alvand and Bushehr warships have been dispatched to the Gulf of Aden to protect trade vessels from piracy,” the news agency reported.

The US military strikes were in response to failed missile attacks this week on a US Navy destroyer, US officials said.

Iran’s key regional rival Saudi Arabia accuses Tehran of providing support to the Houthis, a charge the Islamic Republic denies.

Tasnim said the Iranian ships will patrol the Gulf of Aden, south of Yemen, which is one of the world’s most important shipping routes.