Anti-tank guided missiles and medium-range ballistic missile components seized by the United Kingdom Royal Navy sit pierside during inventory at a military facility in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations on Feb. 26, 2023. U.S. Army Photo
The Navy helped the United Kingdom Royal Navy confiscate a weapons shipment from Iran, Naval Forces Central Command announced Thursday.
U.S. forces worked with the Royal Navy to provide airborne support, including reconnaissance and surveillance, in the Gulf of Oman, according to a news release from Naval Forces Central Command. The assistance helped U.K. frigate HMS Lancaster (F229) confiscate anti-tank guided missiles and medium-range ballistic missile components from a small boat.
The boat’s origins were traced back to Iran, according to the release. On the boat were Dehlavieh missiles, the Iranian equivalent of the Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles.The U.S. and U.K. forces intercepted the boat along a route historically used to illegally traffic weapons to Yemen, according to the release.
The sale or transfer of weapons to Houthis in Yemen is a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 and international law, the release noted.
This is the seventh time illegal Iranian weapons or drugs were intercepted in the last three months, exemplifying increased Iranian maritime activity, U.S. 5th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Brad Cooper said in the release.
“We will continue to work with our partners in pursuing any destabilizing activity that threatens regional maritime security and stability,” Cooper said.
In the past three months, the U.S. and partners have captured more than 5,000 weapons as part of the seven interdictions, according to the release. Other weapons and materials seized include 1.6 million rounds of ammunition, 7,000 rocket proximity fuses, 2,100 kilograms of propellant, 30 anti-tank missiles and $80 million in illegal drugs.