The US Navy has intercepted a fishing trawler smuggling over 50 tons of ammunition, fuses and propellants for rockets in the Gulf of Oman on its way from Iran to Yemen.
The Bahrain-based United States Fifth Fleet said in a statement Saturday that it was the “second major illegal weapons seizure within a month" along the maritime route.
“This significant interdiction clearly shows that Iran’s unlawful transfer of lethal aid and destabilizing behavior continues,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command.
“US naval forces remain focused on deterring and disrupting dangerous and irresponsible maritime activity in the region,” he underlined.
The statement also said that the fishing trawler, intercepted Thursday, was transporting “nearly 7,000 rocket fuses and over 2,100 kilograms of propellant used to launch rocket propelled grenades.”
“The direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen violates UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and international law,” added the statement.
Last month the US navy said it had scuttled a vessel carrying “explosive materials” from Iran to supply the Houthis, with enough power to fuel a dozen ballistic rockets.
The Houthis receive military and political support from Iran in their conflict with other Yemenis, who have been backed by a Saudi-led coalition since 2014. Iran has been sharing its missile and drone technology with Yemen’s Houthis and has also supplied other proxy forces, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite militias.