- The British Royal Navy said on Thursday that it had seized anti-tank missiles and fins for ballistic missile assemblies during a raid on a small boat heading from Iran. It added that the boat was likely headed to Yemen in the Gulf of Oman when it was raided on Feb. 23.1
- The boat reportedly contained Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles — known in Iran as 'Dehlavieh' — and small fins that the US Navy identified as jet vanes for medium-range ballistic missiles. It was also carrying impact sensor covers designed to be placed on the tips of the ballistic missiles.2
- The US Navy said the seizure happened 'along a route historically used to traffic weapons unlawfully to Yemen.' Under a UN Security Council resolution, arms transfers to Yemen's Houthi rebels are banned.3
- In the past three months, the US and UK maritime forces have reportedly seized more than 5K weapons, 1.6M rounds of ammunition, 30 anti-tank guided missiles, and $80M worth of illegal drugs in the Gulf of Oman.4
- Iran allegedly backs Houthi rebels in Yemen, who seized the capital of Sanaa in 2014 and have since been fighting the internationally recognized government. While the Houthis maintain their grip over the north and west, the government and militias hold the south and east.5
- The war in Yemen has largely devolved into a stalemate, creating one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. More than 150K people have been killed in Yemen during the conflict, including over 145K civilians.6
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The times of israel. Russia-backed Iran, which considers the Houthis part of an axis of resistance against Israel and the United States, is providing arms, training, and financial support to the rebels to increase their ability to put significant pressure on US-backed Saudi Arabia. This seizure of a weapons cache from an Iranian ship is the seventh such interdiction in the last three months, demonstrating Iran's increasing malign maritime activity in the region.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Iran front page. The Houthis are neither Iranian proxies nor puppets. In fact, Iran has publicly advocated in favor of a diplomatic solution in Yemen. Western accusations that Iran supplies Houthi rebels with advanced weapons are politically motivated and designed to mislead the public. Those supplying arms to aggressors and enablers of the blockade of the oppressed people of Yemen are in no position to accuse others.