Political Analysis

US Intercepts Multiple Shipments of Iranian Weapons Going to Houthis in Yemen

National Yemen
160828-N-CL027-144 ARABIAN SEA (Aug. 28, 2016) Cmdr. Christopher J. Gilbertson, center, from Minneapolis, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), observes as Ensign Solomon Gardea, from El Paso, Texas, conns an anti-submarine formation exercise with the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), auxiliary oiler replenishment ship RFA Fort Victoria (A 387) and the Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth (FFH 157). Mason, deployed as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Janweb B. Lagazo)
Written by Staff

American warships have intercepted five shipments of weaponry to the Houthis in Yemen from Iran in the past year and a half, according to US Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, who is in charge of American naval operations in the Middle East.

The first intercepted shipment was in April 2015 and since then, American ships have intercepted an additional four shipments, Donegan says.

The shipments included thousands of AK-47 automatic rifles, as well as anti-tank missiles and sniper rifles.

The US Navy determined that the ships carrying the weapons came from Iran based on an examination of the GPS data on board the five vessels as well as from interrogations of their crews.

The crews of the vessels smuggling the weapons are typically unemployed fishermen hired just for the trip, according to Donegan.

Saudi Arabia, which launched a war last year in neighboring Yemen against the Houthis, has long claimed that the Houthis, who are Shia, are supported by Iran.

The discovery of these shipments gives credibility to those claims.

Original Article