Weapon shipments intercepted in the Arabian sea by Australian, French and U.S. warships this year contained large quantities of Russian and Iranian weapons, some of which had markings similar to munitions recovered from Houthi fighters in Yemen, according to a new report released by an independent research group Wednesday.
In October, U.S. officials claimed to have captured five shipments of Iranian weapons bound for Yemen. The report, published by Conflict Armament Research, or CAR, draws on markings found on rifles, rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles and munitions, providing some of the more concrete evidence to date of Iran’s logistical support to Houthis fighting in Yemen’s nearly two-year-old civil war.
Vice Admiral Kevin M. Donegan, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces in the region, told reporters that the first of the five weapons shipments were seized in April 2015. CAR’s report focuses on three weapon caches recovered in early 2016 by the crews of the HMAS Darwin, FS Provence and USS Sirocco. The ships were operating as a part of a multinational Combined Maritime Force task force that covers the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.
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