An arms shipment has been seized in the Arabian Sea on a sailing ship believed to be sent from Iran to support its proxy militia in Yemen, Houthis, the US Navy said on Sunday.
The ship was loaded with thousands of assault weapons, machine guns, and sniper rifles, an American defense official told The Associated Press, noting that initial investigation found the vessel came from Iran, apparently headed to Houthi militia in Yemen despite a United Nations arms embargo.
The Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet did not identify where the weapons originated, nor where they were going. However, an American defense official said the weapons resembled those of other shipments interdicted bounded for the Houthis.
Tim Michetti, an investigative researcher who studies the illicit weapon trade, reiterated that the shipment bore similarities to other arms shipments sent by Iran to Houthis.
“The unique blend of materiel recovered by the USS Monterey appears to be consistent with the materiel from previous interdictions, which have been linked to Iran,” he said.