Advanced missiles in the Arabian Sea, to where?


Sun, 09-05-2021 04:05 AM, Aden Time

Aden (south24)

The US Navy announced that it had intercepted a large cache of "illicit" weapons during May 6 and 7, in the Arabian Sea.

"Thousands of illicit weapons interdicted by guided-missile cruiser USSMonterey (CG 61) from a stateless dhow in international waters of the North Arabian Sea on May 6-7," the US Fifth Fleet said on Twitter, Saturday.

According to the US Navy, the cache of seized weapons included "dozens of advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles; 1000s of Chinese Type 56 assault rifles; 100s of PKM machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades launchers. Plus advanced optical sights."

"USS Monterey and its embarked U.S. Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team (AIT) discovered the illicit cargo during a routine flag verification boarding conducted in international water in accordance with customary international law."

"USS Monterey provided more than 36 hours of over watch and security for its boarding teams and the interdicted vessel throughout the two-day operation," added the US Fifth Fleet.

After all illicit cargo was removed, the dhow was assessed for seaworthiness, according to what was published by the US Navy on Saturday. The crew were questioned and then provided with food and water before they were released.

The US forces have not announced the destination or source of these weapons. But military experts did not rule out that it was heading to conflict areas in Yemen or the Horn of Africa.

The Yemeni Ministry of Information said, on Sunday morning, that Iran has not stopped smuggling weapons to the Houthis, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

In February 2020, the US Central Command said that it had seized an Iranian shipment of weapons in the Arabian Sea, most likely, that it was "destined for the Houthis in Yemen."

At the time, the US Navy seized about 150 "Dahlawi" anti-tank missiles (ATGMs) on board, which are Iranian versions of the Russian Kornet missiles, according to the statement.

- south24

illicit weaponsHouthisArabian SeaUSAIran