The U.S. Navy has confiscated a cache of weapons that it believes was being transported from Iran to Houthi rebels in Yemen, marking at least the third time in two months that such a shipment was stopped, Navy officials said.
Naval forces aboard the USS Sirocco, a coastal patrol ship, intercepted and seized the weapons March 28 from a small craft commonly known as a dhow in the Arabian Sea, the Navy announced Monday. The cache included 1,500 Kalashnikov rifles, 200 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 21 .50-caliber machine guns, the Navy said.
Naval forces aboard the USS Gravely, a guided-missile destroyer, also responded. The dhow and its crew were allowed to depart after the weapons were seized.
In earlier seizures, the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Darwin intercepted a craft Feb. 27 that was carrying nearly 2,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 100 RPG launchers, 49 PKM machine guns, 39 PKM machine gun barrels and 20 60mm mortar tubes. In another incident, the French Navy destroyer FS Provence intercepted a ship March 20 that was carrying about 2,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 64 Dragunov marksman rifles, nine anti-tank missiles and other equipment, the Navy said.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Dan Lamothe