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Video/Pics: US Navy seizes 150 Iranian anti-tank missiles in Arabian Sea

The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), in accordance with international law, seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, aboard a stateless dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, Feb. 9, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman)
February 13, 2020

Sailors from the USS Normandy seized 150 Iranian anti-tank missiles on Sunday from a boat in the Arabian Sea.

Video shows sailors arriving at the boat and boarding it, and photos show the cache of 150 missiles, which were seized along with 358 missile components.

“The weapons seized include 150 ‘Dehlavieh’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs,” according to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) on Thursday.

Additional seized items included “three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, Iranian thermal imaging weapon scopes, and Iranian components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels, as well as other munitions and advanced weapons parts.”

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The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), in accordance with international law, seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components, which held 358 surface-to-air missile components and “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), intended for the Houthis in Yemen, aboard a stateless dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, Feb. 9, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman)

The weapons are currently in U.S. custody, and partner nations were invited to inspect the cache.

“The assessment of the materiel will be an interagency and international effort,” CENTCOM stated.

The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), in accordance with international law, seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, aboard a stateless dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, Feb. 9, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman)

All seized components and weapons were Iranian designed and manufactured.

The seized weapons and components were “identical” to a seizure conducted by the USS Forest Sherman also in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 25, 2019.

“Those weapons were determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen, which would be in violation of a UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis,” CENTCOM said.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have been fighting Yemeni forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in an attempt to destabilize the region.

Last month, the Houthis used ballistic missiles and drones to attack Yemeni soldiers at a mosque, killing 80 soldiers and injuring another 130, CNN reported at the time.

The attack was in retribution for the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, Yemen’s Ministry of Defense said.

On Thursday, six Houthi commanders were killed in a clash with Yemeni soldiers, according to Turkish news outlet Anadolu Agency.