The US government seized thousands of weapons in 2021 and 2023, according to court documents.
The federal government said the weapons were part of an Iranian smuggling operation supporting rebel forces in Yemen.
The photos show neatly stacked rows of assault rifles, rocket launchers and anti-tank guided missiles.
In 2021 and 2023, the United States Naval Forces Central Command intercepted four ships sailing in international waters in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.
On those ships were thousands of weapons and nearly 800,000 cartridges that the US government says are part of an Iranian smuggling operation to support rebel forces in the Republic of Yemen.
Federal prosecutors alleged in a notice of seizure filed July 6 that a branch of Iran’s military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the Trump administration designated a foreign terrorist organization in 2019 – was smuggling smuggled the large cache of arms and ammunition to support Houthi forces in Yemen.
CourtWatch first reported on the documents.
“There is no plausible way that these weapons and ammunition could have entered the ships between Iran and Yemen, except that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) continued its pattern of smuggling aid letha to Houthi forces in Yemen,” a Defense Ministry official said. is cited in the notice.
For nearly a decade, the Houthis, part of an Islamist movement, have been locked in a civil war with the Yemeni government after the group seized the country’s capital, Sanaa, in 2014. Iran has been widely accused of supporting the rebel faction.
The US Navy intercepted four dhows – narrow vessels that often operate without “transmitting an automatic identification signal”, according to prosecutors – on May 6 and December 20, 2021 and January 6 and 15 of this year. The four ships visited ports known to the IRGC and took routes “consistent with previous IRGC smuggling operations,” the DOD official said.
In total, US authorities seized nearly 10,000 types of rifles, about 300 machine guns, 194 rocket launchers, more than 70 anti-tank guided missiles and nearly 800,000 rounds of ammunition, among other weapons.
Here are some of the photographic evidence included in the government seizure notice
A ship, or dhow, named Al-Ghazal 1 was intercepted by the US Navy on December 20, 2021.
US authorities seized 1,438 Chinese-made Type 56 assault rifles and 220,000 rounds of ammunition from the Al-Ghazal 1.
On May 6, 2021, the United States Navy encountered another vessel, the Dhow X.
The government seized 2,556 Type 56 assault rifles, 35 Russian-made assault rifles, 194 Iranian-made rocket launchers, 183 general-purpose machine guns, 100 Chinese-made sniper rifles, 52 anti-materiel rifles of Iranian manufacture and 50 Russian rifles. manufactured anti-tank guided missiles.
Iranian-made rocket launchers seized from Dhow X.
An example of the Iranian-made anti-materiel rifle, a weapon used against military equipment and structures, which was seized from the Dhow X.
An example of Chinese-made sniper rifles that were seized from the Dhow X.
On January 6, 2023, the United States Navy intercepted Dhow Y. The ship was carrying 1,918 Type 56 assault rifles and 198 Russian-made carbines.
Less than two weeks later, on January 15, 2023, US authorities intercepted another vessel, the Dhow Z, in the Gulf of Oman. The ship had 2,999 Type 56 assault rifles, 100 carbines, 101 general-purpose machine guns, and 578,400 rounds.
Rows of Chinese-made assault rifles are laid out for the photo op.
Iranian and Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles found on Dhow X and Z.
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