BUSTED: US Navy intercepts weapons smugglers in the Arabian Sea

Jack Murphy
February 14, 2020 - 10:14 am
Iranian weapons

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lehman


The US Navy's USS Normandy launched a Visit, Board, Search, and Seize (VBSS) team to intercept a dhow in the Arabian Sea. Upon searching the vessel they discovered 358 surface-to-air missile components as well as “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles. These are types of weapons that are used to shoot aircraft out of the sky and engage armored military vehicles or built-up ground fortifications, both of which have seen extensive employment in Yemen's civil war.

In a Navy press release, it was pointed out that these weapons and weapons components were identical to those seized by the USS Forrest Sherman back in November. 

The Navy assessed that in both instances the weapons were of Iranian design and origin, destined for Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Yemeni civil war has in many ways been a proxy conflict fought with the UAE and Saudi Arabia on one side and Iran on the other.

The Navy's position is that the smuggling of these weapons constitutes a violation of a, "UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis."

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Reach Jack Murphy: jack@connectingvets.com or @JackMurphyRGR.