US Navy seizes weapons en route from Iran to Yemen

We have seized around 2,000 assault rifles smuggled from Iran to Yemen, says US Navy officials

Anadolu Agency January 10, 2023
A US Navy Martin UAV drone flies over the Gulf waters as the Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) Abdulrahman Al Fadhel takes part in a joint naval exercise between the US 5th Fleet Command and Bahraini forces, on October 26, 2021. PHOTO: AFP


The US Navy said on Tuesday that it had seized more than 2,000 assault rifles smuggled on a fishing boat along a maritime route from Iran to Yemen.

The cargo was discovered on Friday off the coast of Oman "on a route historically used to traffic illicit cargo to the Huthis in Yemen," the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said in a statement, noting the vessel "was crewed by six Yemeni nationals".

"This shipment is part of a continued pattern of destabilising activity from Iran," Vice Admiral Brad Cooper was quoted as saying.

The Iran-backed Huthi rebels took control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year.

Since then, a grinding war has killed hundreds of thousands and pushed the impoverished nation to the brink of famine.

A UN-brokered ceasefire that took effect in April brought a sharp reduction in hostilities. The truce expired in October, though fighting largely remains on hold.

Also read: Russia claims US left Afghanistan to focus on Ukraine

The fishing vessel intercepted last week had been carrying 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles.

"The transfer of the vessel and its crew for repatriation is in progress," the Fifth Fleet said, adding that "the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons to the Huthis violates" international law.

The UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on the Huthis in February 2022.

Last month, the US Navy said it had seized one million rounds of ammunition along with rocket fuses and propellant being smuggled on a fishing trawler from Iran to Yemen.

In November, the US Navy said it had scuttled a boat transporting "explosive materials" from Iran to supply the Huthis, with enough power to fuel a dozen ballistic rockets.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read