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USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr (WPC 1147) stops a vessel in the Arabian Sea carrying Iranian weapons to the Houthis in Yemen. Photo courtesy U.S. Central Command

USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr (WPC 1147) stops a vessel in the Arabian Sea carrying Iranian weapons to the Houthis in Yemen. Photo courtesy U.S. Central Command

U.S. Coast Guard Seizes Iranian Weapons Bound for the Houthis

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 48489
February 15, 2024

A U.S Coast Guard cutter has intercepted a vessel loaded with advanced conventional weapons and lethal aid in the Arabian Sea. The shipment allegedly originated in Iran and was bound for Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

The vessel was intercepted on January 28th by the USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr, a Sentinel-class fast-response cutter assigned to the U.S Central Command (CENTCOM) and homeported in Manama, Bahrain.

Upon inspection, the boarding team discovered over 200 packages containing a range of military equipment. These included medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater/surface vehicle (UUV/USV) components, military-grade communication and network equipment, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, and other military components.

U.S. Central Command Photo

According to a report released by the Department of Defense this month, between 2015 and 2023, at least 18 Iranian smuggling vessels have been intercepted by the United States and its allies. These seizures have included ballistic missile components, UAVs, antitank guided missiles, and thousands of other illegal weapons en route to the Houthis and used for attacks on shipping and throughout the Middle East.

The supply, sale or transfer of such aid violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216 (as extended and renewed by resolutions 2675 and 2707).

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

CENTCOM reaffirms its commitment to working with allies and partners to counter the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region through all lawful means including U.S. and U.N. sanctions and through interdictions.

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