US Seizes Massive Stash Of Weapons And Missiles Headed For Houthi Rebels In Yemen

 February 16, 2024

In the turbulent waters of the Arabian Sea, valor met vigilance in a significant operation by the US forces.

US forces intercepted a large cache of Iranian weapons intended for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, underscoring Tehran's continued role in fueling conflict in the region.

The seizure unfolded near a skiff vessel on January 28, as documented in the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) photographs. The cache was sizable, comprising materials for ballistic missiles, anti-tank rockets, explosive devices, and communication apparatus.

A glaring violation of international norms

CENTCOM has described this interdiction as the transportation of 'lethal aid originating in Iran,' calling it a direct contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216. This resolution explicitly prohibits the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to Houthi forces in Yemen.

The event's significance was underscored by CENTCOM commander General Michael Erik Kurilla's statement. He condemned Iran's actions as a palpable infringement of international law and emphasized the operation's role in shielding the safety of international shipping lanes and promoting the free movement of commerce.

The interception arrives against a backdrop of mounting tensions, notably characterized by escalated Houthi assaults on US military and commercial shipping. These attacks surged following an October 17 explosion at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, for which the Houthi rebels have vowed continuous aggression until Israel ceases its military actions in Gaza.

A British warship's shooting down of a Houthi drone a day before the weapons interception, coupled with the distressing news of two Navy SEALS going missing while attempting to board a ship involved in weapon smuggling, underscores the tumultuous situation in the region. The US Navy's engagement in 95 intercepts and 240 self-defense strikes against Houthi targets attests to the ongoing volatile environment.

Responses from involved parties

Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi has positioned his group's actions as victories against the naval capabilities of the US, Britain, and Israel. He boldly claims their operations have successfully disrupted the maritime passage of vessels associated with these nations, framing it as a triumph for the Houthi cause.

The Americans and the British failed to secure the passage of any ship heading to Israel. They were unable to protect these ships. They can no longer protect even American-British ships, and this is a real and major victory for us.

Al-Houthi also articulated the motivations behind Houthi operations in the Red Sea, portraying them as legitimate acts of solidarity with the people of Gaza. He criticizes the Israeli, American, and British agendas, suggesting that their policies aim to marginalize the Palestinian issue. Since mid-November, the strategic targeting of ships linked to these three nations has ushered companies to reroute their vessels around Africa, further demonstrating the far-reaching impact of these actions.

Reiterating the need for peace and stability

As the dust settles on this significant operation, the broader implications for regional security and international law cannot be ignored.

The ongoing conflict in Yemen, fueled in part by external support for the Houthi rebels, continues to pose a grave challenge to achieving peace and stability in the region. The relentless attacks on shipping and the retaliatory strikes in Yemen underscore a troubling cycle of violence that seems far from resolution.


The recent seizure of Iranian weapons en route to Houthi rebels in Yemen by US forces is a vivid reminder of the complex geopolitical landscapes defining the Arabian Sea and its surrounding regions.

General Michael Erik Kurilla's condemnation of Iran's support for the Houthis underlines the international community's concern over Tehran's role in perpetuating the conflict in Yemen.

The ongoing maritime confrontations, characterized by retaliatory strikes and rerouting of ships, reflect the precarious state of affairs threatening not just regional but global peace. This episode serves as a clarion call for concerted efforts toward dialogue and diplomacy to address the root causes of the conflict and strive for lasting peace in the region.

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