US Claims Intercepted Iranian Weapons Shipment for Yemen’s Houthis

Thu Feb 15 2024
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WASHINGTON: The US military claimed on Thursday that it intercepted an Iranian weapons shipment destined for Yemen’s Houthis, who have been attacking vessels in the Red Sea.

According to a statement from the US Central Command (CENTCOM), the US Navy seized “advanced conventional weapons and other lethal aid” originating from Iran and intended for areas controlled by the Houthis in Yemen. The operation took place on January 28, CENTCOM stated on social media.

The seized weapons included medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater/surface vehicle components, military-grade communication and network equipment, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, and other military gear, CENTCOM stated.

According to the US military, the supply of such weapons violates UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which prohibits the direct or indirect transfer of arms to Yemen.

Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM, condemned Iran’s actions, stating, “This is yet another example of Iran’s malign activity in the region. Their continued supply of advanced conventional weapons to the Yemeni groups is in direct violation of international law and continues to undermine the safety of international shipping and the free flow of commerce.”

Houthis Attacks on Ships in Red Sea

Houthis have been attacking vital Red Sea shipping lanes since November in a campaign in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza amid the Israeli aggression.

Their attacks have triggered response by US and UK forces, including a fresh wave of US air strikes on Houthis’s areas on Wednesday.

The Houthi attacks have prompted some shipping companies to detour around southern Africa to avoid the Red Sea, which normally carries about 12 percent of global maritime trade.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development warned late last month that the volume of commercial traffic passing through the Suez Canal had fallen more than 40 percent in the previous two months.

CENTCOM affirmed its commitment to working with allies and partners to counter Iran’s provision of lethal aid to regional groups through lawful means, including US and UN sanctions and interdictions.

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