U.S. Forces Intercept Iranian Weapons Being Shipped to Houthis

CENTCOM seized medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, UUV/USV components, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, etc
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 04:38 AM, February 16, 2024
  • 927
U.S. Forces Intercept Iranian Weapons Being Shipped to Houthis
U.S. Forces Intercept Iranian Weapons Being Shipped to Houthis @CENTCOM

In a recent operation in the Arabian Sea, U.S. maritime forces intercepted a vessel carrying advanced weaponry from Iran to Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

The interception took place on January 28, when the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147), deployed to the CENTCOM area of responsibility, located and boarded the vessel.

During the boarding operation, a team from the USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. discovered over 200 packages containing a range of military equipment, including medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater/surface vehicle (UUV/USV) components, military-grade communication and network equipment, and anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies.

The seized items violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216, which prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of such aid. Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, the commander of CENTCOM, condemned Iran's actions, stating, "This is yet another example of Iran’s malign activity in the region." He emphasized that Iran's continued supply of advanced conventional weapons to the Houthis not only violates international law but also undermines the safety of international shipping and the free flow of commerce.

U.S. Forces Intercept Iranian Weapons Being Shipped to Houthis
U.S. Forces Intercept Iranian Weapons Being Shipped to Houthis @CENTCOM

CENTCOM remains committed to countering the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region through lawful means, including U.S. and U.N. sanctions and interdictions. The statement did not provide details about the identity of the boarded vessel or whether individuals onboard were detained.

This interception is part of ongoing efforts by U.S. naval forces in the Middle East to prevent weapons shipments to the Iranian-backed Houthis. Previous interdictions include the seizure of 2,116 AK-47 rifles in January 2023 in the Gulf of Oman and the confiscation of over 170 tons of potentially explosive chemicals and 50 tons of ammunition rounds, fuses, and rocket propellants from fishing vessels in late 2022.

The Defense Intelligence Agency recently confirmed Houthi use of Iranian missiles and aerial drones in attacks across the Middle East. Additionally, U.S. forces announced the destruction of seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, three aerial drones, and one explosive surface drone prepared for launch from Houthi-controlled territory in the Red Sea. The four separate strikes, conducted over approximately 6.5 hours, were aimed at defending ships in the region.

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