May 10, 2021


On Wednesday, the United States Navy announced that troops patrolling the Arabian Sea took a massive shipment of arms from a transport boat. The shipment was likely headed for Yemen, but this is not known.

The collection of arms included thousands of weapons, such as assault rifles, machine guns, and snipers that were purposely hidden on the boat in the Arabian Sea.

The Report from the United States Navy

The boat carrying the weapons appeared to be traveling to Yemen to support the Houthi rebels in the country. The Navy reported their discovery to the Associated Press.

A defense official stated that the ship initially departed Iran, which tied the weapons to the Islamic Republic. According to the United Nations, the Islamic Republic was attempting to arm the Houthis in Yemen to rebel even though the shipment was illegal.

Iran did not immediately respond to the United Nations, who requested a comment from the country. Iran does support the Houthis, but they have denied past accusations of supplying weapons to the rebel group.

The war has been occurring in Yemen for a long time, so this weapon seizure is a regular occurrence by the United States Navy as well as other countries patrolling the sea.

The American military has supported Yemen in the country’s Civil War since it began in 2014. The Houthis took over Sanaa, which started the group’s effort to control the entire country. Saudi Arabia and other countries, including the United States, joined the fight to help the government.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations. Iran chose to support the Houthis because the group taunts Saudi Arabia with missile and drone strikes. Both countries had despised each other since 2016 when the latter executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

President Biden has the goal of no longer supporting Yemen in the conflict. However, this arms shipment proves that the war in Yemen is far from over, which could make President Biden alter his plan.

Weapons on Board

The ship that discovered the weapons was a guided-missile cruiser called the USS Monterey. The vessel that held the arms was a boat that’s frequently sailed in the region.

Navy sailors began the search effort on Thursday in the northern part of the Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan. The sailors found the weapons below the ship, wrapped in green plastic. There were 3,000 Chinese Type 56 assault rifles.

This gun was the most prominent, but hundreds of machine and sniper rifles were discovered on the ship too. Dozens of Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles were the most interesting discovery by the United States Navy.

The Navy was uncertain about the origin of the weapons. However, they assumed belongs to Yemen; because the contraband resembled shipments in the past for the Houthi.

The gun seizures by the Navy began in 2016, and they have been periodic for the duration of the Civil War. Initially, the shipments were small weapons, but the rebels have now accessed powerful arms thanks to the support from the Islamic Republic in Iran.

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