French Forces Seize Iranian-Supplied Weapons Bound For Yemen

According to officials familiar with the operation, elite French special forces intercepted a boatload of weapons and ammunition supplied by Iran and intended for militants in Yemen as part of a growing effort to contain Tehran.

According to the officials, a suspected smuggling ship was stopped by a French warship off the coast of Yemen on January 15 and boarded by a specially trained French team. The French military reportedly found more than 3,000 assault guns, at least 500,000 rounds of ammo, and more than 20 antitank guided missiles on board, according to the officials.

The operation, coordinated with the American military, resulted in France taking a more assertive stance against Middle Eastern arms smuggling.

The naval operation was a component of a global campaign to enforce a United Nations arms embargo on weapons heading to the rebel Houthis in Yemen, who rule large portions of the nation, including the capital city of San’a. To stop the flow of weapons, the U.N. broadened the scope of the embargo last year.

Until recently, the U.S. military had assumed control of the hunt for those smuggling weapons and supplies to the Houthis. Currently, France and the U.K. are contributing more.

As negotiations for restoring a global agreement restricting Tehran’s nuclear program stall and the Islamic Republic detains an increasing number of European people, tensions between Iran and European nations have escalated recently.

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The American military assisted in the seizure of weapons on January 15 in the Gulf of Oman, according to Commander Tim Hawkins, a spokesperson for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, the Navy’s regional command center in Bahrain. He declined to provide further specifics.

“Our colleagues and we have halted the entry of more than 5,000 weapons and 1.6 million rounds of ammunition into Yemen,” he claimed. On Wednesday, the French military opted not to comment on the operation.

The French operation is the most recent in a string of weapons recoveries that indicate Iran continues to arm its Houthi supporters in Yemen, despite an unofficial cease-fire that has been in effect for nine months and has made room for further political negotiations.

The United States and its allies have accused Tehran of supplying the Houthi troops with missiles, drones, and other weaponry that they have deployed in countless strikes against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemeni forces attempting to drive the Iran-backed rebels out of the country. Tehran openly backs the Houthi troops on the political front but denies arming them in defiance of U.N. resolutions.

The United States military reported Wednesday that Yemeni forces had intercepted 100 drone engines headed for Houthi terrorists.

French Forces Seize Iranian-supplied Weapons Bound For Yemen
French Forces Seize Iranian-supplied Weapons Bound For Yemen

More than eight years have passed since the start of the Yemeni civil war. In September 2014, Houthi fighters took control of the nation’s capital. Six months later, Saudi Arabia and a tiny coalition of partners started a military operation to remove the Houthis from power.

However, the Saudi-led offensive was unable to remove Houthi rule swiftly. Instead, the two sides are entangled in a destabilizing war thatused what the U.N. has dubbed the biggest humanitarian crisis in history. In the conflict, thousands of civilians died. The survival of about three-quarters of the nation’s populace depends on humanitarian help.

The U.S. Navy announced at the beginning of January that it had discovered more than 2,000 assault rifles on a ship in the Gulf of Oman. At the time, American officials said the weapons were on their way to Houthi fighters in Yemen.

Then-head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Michael Kurilla, stated, “The illegal movement of weapons from Iran through international waterways has a destabilizing effect on the region.”

For the first time in July of last year, the United Kingdom reported that it’s Royal Navy had detained surface-to-air missiles and cruise missile engines from a vessel off the shore of Iran’s southern coast.

In December of last year, the United States Navy said it had taken possession of 1,400 AK-47 weapons and over 226,000 rounds of ammunition from a fishing boat in the northern Arabian Sea. The ship, according to the American military, was from Iran. A fishing trawler traveling between Iran and Yemen was found to be carrying more than 1.1 million rounds of ammunition in a separate operation that same month, according to the U.S. Navy. If you want some other information like this, then do visit our

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