The Fifth Fleet of the US Navy announced, on Saturday, the interception of a fishing vessel smuggling ammunition and fuel in the Gulf of Oman in a sea passage from Iran to Yemen.
The navy said, in a statement, that it had intercepted the ship smuggling “more than 50 tons of ammunition, fuses and fuel for missiles” in a sea passage from Iran to Yemen on December 1, according to the American Al-Hurra channel.
“Navy personnel operating out of Lewis P. Puller (ESP-3) Naval Expeditionary Base discovered the illicit cargo during the flag verification process, marking the second-largest seizure of illegal weapons by the US Fifth Fleet in a month,” the statement added.
And the US Navy announced in mid-November that it had stopped a huge Iranian shipment of missile fuel in the Gulf of Oman that was on its way to the Houthi group.
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And last July, the British Navy announced the seizure earlier this year of Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air missiles and engines for cruise missiles, on board fast smuggling boats in international waters south of Iran.
Also, in December 2021, the US Navy seized in the Gulf waters a shipment of weapons aboard a fishing vessel originating from Iran, and it is believed that it was on its way to the Houthi rebels in war-stricken Yemen.
A confidential UN report last year, prepared by a UN Security Council panel of experts on Yemen, concluded that an Iranian port was likely the source of thousands of weapons seized by the US Navy in recent months in the Arabian Sea.
The United States and the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia often accuse Iran of smuggling weapons to the Houthis, which Tehran denies, stressing that its support for them is only political.
The delivery of weapons to the Houthis would constitute a violation of the UN arms embargo imposed on the Houthis since 2015.
Yemen is suffering from a war that began after the Houthis took control of the capital, Sana’a, and several provinces at the end of 2014, with the support of the forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was killed in 2017 in confrontations with the group’s militants, following the end of the alliance between them.
The conflict has escalated since March 2015, after an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened to support the legitimate government forces, in the face of the Iranian-backed Houthi group.