U.S. warship seizes suspected Iranian weapons in Arabian Sea

14 Février, 2020, 10:03 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The crew of the USS Normandy seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen aboard a dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations Feb. 9 2020

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The US military said in a statement on Thursday that its guided-missile cruiser, the USS Normandy, boarded a dhow, a traditional sailing vessel, in the Arabian Sea on Sunday.

US sailors also confiscated three surface-to-air missiles, drone components and thermal scopes.

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.

The statement said the vessel was boarded "in accordance with worldwide law" while the US Navy was "conducting maritime security operations" in the area.

Photo shows assorted weapons aboard a stateless dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations on February 9, 2020.

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The weapons were "identical" to those seized in a similar operation last November by the USS Forrest Sherman.

Officials said the weapons were being shipped to Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen as part of the ayatollah regime's attempts to increase its influence across the Middle East.

A USA navy warship seized weapons it says are of Iranian "design and manufacture", including more than 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three surface-to-air missiles.

The shipment of weapons seized over the weekend would violate a UN Security Council resolution prohibiting the "direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis", the statement said. The assessment of the material will be an interagency and global effort.

Arrangements were being made for US experts and experts from allied nations and worldwide organizations to inspect the seized weapons.

The operation is ongoing, and further information will be shared as it becomes available.

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