US officials revealed Wednesday that a US Navy ship had seized a "significant stockpile" of parts of Iranian precision-guided missiles. The missiles were being transported to the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
According to the sources, this is the first time such sophisticated missile components have been seized while en route to war in Yemen. The components were seized in a boat raided by US Navy and Coast Guard officials last Wednesday. The raid was carried out in the northern Arabian Sea. Americans say the incident is an example of the ongoing illegal smuggling of weapons to the Houthi insurgents.
The officials stated that the US destroyer Forrest Sherman was on a routine mission as sailors spotted a small wooden boat carrying no flag of any state. The Navy and Coast Guard stopped the vessel, boarded it, and found the weapons during a search of the cargo.
The number of seized missile parts was not revealed.
The smuggling of weapons into Yemen is prohibited under UN Security Council resolutions.
The seizure of the missiles was announced at the same time US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Lisbon.