U.S. Navy Seizes Cache of Iranian Weapons Bound for Yemen

Clay Curtis
February 15, 2020

"The U.S. Navy interdicted 358 Iranian-made missiles + other weapons components on their way to the Houthis in Yemen".

United States warships intercepted and seized Iranian arms likely bound for Houthi fighters in Yemen on a number of occasions.

The USS Normandy boarded a dhow sailing vessel in the Arabian Sea on Sunday and found 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three surface-to-air missiles.

A video of the seizure shows a USA boat approaching and boarding the vessel as the other seamen put their hands over their heads.

It added that the weapons seized were components of Iranian design and manufacture, including three Iranian surface-to-air missiles. Crew members from the USS Normandy seized the weapons after swooping on a small dhow while carrying out maritime security operations.

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CENTCOM also said numerous seized weapon systems were identical to advanced systems seized by the USS Forrest Sherman during an operation in the Arabian Sea in November.

According to a CENTCOM statement, the dhow was carrying 150 Dehlavieh anti-tank guided missiles, described by USA officials as the Iranian versions of Russia's Kornet anti-tank missiles.

Iran has denied providing weapons to the Houthi rebels, who have taken credit for staging attacks on neighbouring Saudi Arabia, since the conflict in Yemen broke out nearly five years ago.

The weapons seized Sunday are now in US custody awaiting final disposition. Those weapons were also determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen - a violation of UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits direct or indict supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis. They were released by the USS Normandy after the illicit weapons were secured. The Iran-backed Houthis have been fighting Saudi Arabia's forces in Yemen for five years. The assessment of the material will be an interagency and global effort.

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