On December 1, the United States naval forces in the Middle East confiscated a fishing boat that was illegally carrying more than 50 tons of ammunition rounds, fuses and propellants for rockets in the Gulf of Oman while travelling from Iran to Yemen.
The Navy personnel stationed on the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), a sea base for expeditions, uncovered the illicit cargo during a flag inspection, making this the second major seizure of illegal weapons by the U.S. 5th Fleet in a month.
Forces from Lewis B. Puller found more than 1 million rounds of 7.62mm ammunition; 25,000 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition; nearly 7,000 proximity fuses for rockets; and over 2,100 kilograms of propellant used to launch rocket propelled grenades.
“This significant interdiction clearly shows that Iran’s unlawful transfer of lethal aid and destabilizing behavior continues,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
In 2014, the Iran-supported Houthi forces took control of Yemen’s capital city Sanaa. This conflict has since caused a huge number of deaths and driven the already poor nation to the edge of starvation.
The direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons to the Houthis in Yemen violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216 and international law.
U.S. 5th Fleet earlier intercepted a fishing vessel illegally shipping lethal aid from Iran to Yemen on Nov. 8 2022