Political Analysis

UN sanctions experts launch investigation into weapons shipment

National Yemen

Interior Minister inspect the Iranian weapons

By NY Staff

On Saturday at the Officer’s Club in Sana’a, Interior Minister Abdul-Qader Qahtan held a Press Conference to discuss the arms shipment which was recently seized in Yemeni waters. According to Qahtan, the intercepted ship had set out from an Iranian port, with the illegal weapons shipment intended to reach northern rebel Houthis.

The Interior Minister stated that the ship was intercepted off the Yemeni coast near Al-Mahra and was investigated and inspected in Aden. He added that the ship had a crew of eight Yemenis and onboard, 73 tons of diesel fuel and 40 different types of explosives and weapons were found.

At the press conference, it was also stated that Yemeni intelligence had learned that while Omani authorities had previously detained the ship as it made its way towards Yemen, they had failed to detect the presence of weapons and explosives, which were concealed in diesel storage containers.

President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s request that the United Nations assist in investigating the weapons shipment and its origins received a positive response. UN sanctions experts have reportedly already begun an investigation into the matter.

According to an earlier government press release, the shipment included different kinds of dangerous weapons and explosive devices, some of which are Iranian-made, including: Katyusha rockets M122, Strella surface-to-air heat-seeking missiles, , RBG7 rocket launchers, and artillery cannons capable of striking land and sea targets over 40 kilometers away.

The shipment also included a number of automatic weapon silencers which are often used in assassination attempts, and explosive substances such as RDX, which is capable of producing explosions twenty times as powerful as TNT. The RDX substance had been packed in 133 plastic containers.

Saba News Agency reported that the shipment contained C4 plastic explosives, remote-controlled devices which are used to trigger explosive devices from a distance, and machine gun ammunition.