US Navy seizes Iranian-manufactured missiles in Arabian Sea

USS Normandy seizes illegal weapons in Arabian Sea

USS Normandy seizes illegal weapons in Arabian Sea

Navy personnel serving on the US cruiser Normandy uncovered a shipment of weapons aboard of a sailboat in the Arabian Sea after boarding the vessel "in accordance with global law", the US Central Command said on Thursday.

The crew of the USS Normandy seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, aboard a dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, February 9, 2020.

The US navy personnel also seized three surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging weapon scopes, components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels and a range of other munitions and advanced weapons parts.

Among the weapons seized were 150 "Dehlavieh" anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs.

The statement noted that numerous munitions seized over the weekend by the USS Normandy guided-missile cruiser were similar to weapons and components seized in November by the crew of the USS Forrest Sherman guided-missile destroyer.

USA warships intercepted and seized Iranian arms likely bound for Houthi fighters in Yemen on a number of occasions.

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"Everything points to these weapons being made in Iran". Crew members from the USS Normandy seized the weapons after swooping on a small dhow while carrying out maritime security operations. A separate United Nations resolution on Yemen bans the supply of weapons to Houthi leaders.

"Many of these weapons systems are identical to the advanced weapons and weapon components seized by guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) in the Arabian Sea on November 25, 2019".

Officials told VOA they could find no evidence linking the crew of the intercepted ship to militant groups.

The US has consistently accused Iran of illegally smuggling arms to the Houthis, and has seized numerous weapons shipments in transit in recent months.

They are now being examined by global weapons inspectors.

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