U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported Tuesday that the United States has intercepted the transport of over 3,000 rifles from Iran to Yemen. They also recovered nearly 600,000 rounds of ammunition and 23 anti-tank guided missiles during the operations. The intercept took place in the Gulf of Oman where a ships cargo was seized. The area is known as historic route for trafficking and smuggling weapons.
“The illegal flow of weapons from Iran through international waterways has a destabilizing effect on the region,” said Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, the commander of US Central Command.
The U.S. worked together with French and British navies to coordinated an effort to block Iran’s smuggling operations in the region. Iran is looking to supply Houthi rebels in Yemen with arms, even as the Yemeni civil war remains under a ceasefire.
According to The Hill:
The weapons seizure is the fifth such operation in a little over two months involving the U.S. Navy, with the most recent being a Jan. 6 interception of a fishing boat smuggling more than 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles.
And on Nov. 8, Navy and Coast Guard ships “intercepted more than 70 tons of ammonium perchlorate, a powerful oxidizer commonly used to make rocket and missile fuel, as well as 100 tons of urea fertilizer,” the Navy said.