US seizes Iranian weapons that were likely bound for Houthi insurgents in Yemen captured by international naval forces operating in the waters of the Arabian Sea. It’s been the third time in recent weeks that forces have seized a shipment of illicit arms.
The U.S. Navy Coastal Patrol ship USS Sirocco, operating as part of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, intercepted and seized the shipment of Iranian weapons hidden aboard a small, stateless dhow, according to FOX News. The illicit cargo included 1,500 AK-47s, 200 RPG launchers and 21 .50 caliber machine guns.
The weapons are now in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition. The dhow and its crew were allowed to depart once the illicit weapons were seized.
As the US seizes Iranian weapons, the USS Gravely (DDG 107) was directed to the scene by United States Naval Forces Central Command following the discovery by Sirocco’s boarding team.
This seizure is the latest in a string of illicit weapons shipments assessed by the U.S. to have originated in Iran that were seized in the region by naval forces.
The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Darwin intercepted a dhow Feb. 27, confiscating nearly 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 49 PKM general purpose machine guns, 39 PKM spare barrels and 20 60mm mortar tubes.
A March 20 seizure in the Arabian Sea by the French Navy destroyer FS Provence yielded almost 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 64 Dragunov sniper rifles, nine anti-tank missiles and other associated equipment.
The US seizure of Iranian weapons has been a growing concern for sometime now. NAVCENT is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, parts of the Indian Ocean and 20 countries.