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US Coast Guard Cutter seizes Iranians weapons for Houthis in Oman Sea.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the US DoD on February 15, 2024, USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr, operating under the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), seized a cache of advanced weapons and military equipment destined for Houthi forces in Yemen.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Conventional weapons and other lethal aid seized from a Yemeni dhow. (Picture source: US CENTCOM)

The operation took place in the Arabian Sea on January 28, showcasing a critical effort to curb the flow of illegal arms in a region plagued by conflict and instability. The vessel, intercepted during routine surveillance, was found to be transporting more than 200 packages of military hardware, including components for medium-range ballistic missiles, explosives, and unmanned vehicle systems, along with sophisticated communication and networking equipment. The seized items are believed to have originated in Iran.

Iran relations with Houthis

A significant aspect of this support is the provision of advanced weaponry and military advice, which has bolstered the Houthi's capabilities against their adversaries, notably Saudi Arabia.

Despite Iran's denials, evidence presented by the United Kingdom to the United Nations has directly linked Iran to the supply of advanced weapons to the Houthi rebels. This evidence includes images of tests conducted at the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran found on the hard drive of an unmanned aircraft seized by the Royal Navy.

Along with this aircraft, shipments of missiles and missile parts were also intercepted, further implicating Iran in violations of Security Council resolutions barring weapons shipments to the Houthis​​.

The Houthi movement has not only utilized Iranian support to strengthen its military capabilities but has also expanded its reach and influence within Yemen and the region. The provision of small arms, more advanced and lethal weapons, and the technical assistance from Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps advisers have been pivotal. This includes assembling parts into working weapons such as drones and missiles capable of striking deep inside Saudi Arabia.

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