ANKARA (AA) – The US Navy said it seized a large amount of rifles and ammunition from a fishing ship, which was likely heading to war-torn Yemen from Iran.
Patrol vessels of the US Navy conducted an operation on a fishing ship sailing in the North Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman and Pakistan, the US 5th Fleet said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the statement, five Yemeni sailors were found on board of the ship with 1,400 AK-47assault rifles and 226,600 ammunition.
The 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, said the fishing ship was sailing on a route used to smuggle illicit weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Iran is accused by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies of sending weapons to the Houthis, an accusation denied by Tehran.
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst human-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80%, or about
30 million people, needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.