Boarding parties from the Navy’s guided-missile cruiser Normandy stopped a dhow in the Arabian Sea earlier this week and confiscated a cache of Iranian-made surface-to-air missiles and other advanced weaponry bound for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, U.S. Central Command said Thursday.
A video released by CENTCOM showed a small boat from the Ticonderoga-class Normandy approaching the dhow on Feb. 9 as crew members of the traditional Mideastern vessel gathered at the bow with arms raised in surrender.
In addition to three surface-to-air missiles, the arms cache included 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles, Iranian thermal imaging weapon scopes, Iranian components for aerial drones and unmanned small boats, “as well as other munitions and advanced weapons parts,” CENTCOM officials said in a statement. Military News
The weapons included 150 anti-tank missiles and three surface-to-air missiles, plus a supply of components useful for maintaining unmanned aerial vehicles.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement on Thursday:
Many of these weapons systems are identical to the advanced weapons and weapon components seized by guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 25, 2019. Those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen, which would be in violation of a UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis.
The USS Forrest Sherman incident was very similar, involving the seizure of a small boat in the Arabian Sea that proved to be ferrying a cache of Iranian weapons to Yemen. U.S. officials said at the time that the cache of missiles seized in November were more sophisticated than Iranian arms previously smuggled to Yemen.
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