US Navy seizes Iranian weapons bound for Yemen rebels
WASHINGTON – Agence France-Presse
A Houthi follower rises a weapon as he attends a rally marking one year of Saudi-led air strikes, in Yemen's capital Sanaa, March 26, 2016 - Reuters photoU.S. naval forces in the Arabian Sea seized a shipment of weapons that the United States believes was sent from Iran and was bound for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Navy said April 4.
The patrol ship USS Sirocco intercepted and seized the shipment hidden aboard a small dhow on March 28.
The illicit cargo included 1,500 AK-47s, 200 RPG launchers and 21 .50 caliber machine guns, the Navy said in a statement.
The dhow and its crew were allowed to sail on after the weapons were seized.
The Navy said it was the latest in a series of illicit weapons shipments which the United States believes originated in Iran.
Pro-government Yemeni forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have been battling the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels for more than a year.
The warring parties are preparing for a U.N.-brokered ceasefire due to take effect on April 10 and intended to pave the way for peace talks in Kuwait a week later.