The US Navy said Thursday that the USS Normandy, while conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, on February 9 boarded a dhow in accordance with international law and discovered a large cache of weapons.
According to the US Navy, the weapons seized include 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs.
Other weapons components seized aboard the dhow were of Iranian design and manufacture and 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, the US Navy said.
According to the Navy, many of these weapons systems are identical to the advanced weapons and weapon components seized by guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman 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, the Navy said.
“The seized weapons are in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition. The assessment of the material will be an interagency and international effort. International partner nations and organizations have also been invited to inspect the cache,” the US Navy said in a statement.
The operation is ongoing, and further information will be shared as it becomes available, the Navy said.