The United States Navy intercepts a shipment of explosive material in route to Yemen

The United States Navy Fifth Fleet said Tuesday that it had intercepted a fishing boat that was smuggling “huge” quantities of explosive material as it transited from Iran on a route in the Gulf of Oman used to smuggle weapons to the Yemeni Houthi movement.

The Fifth Fleet claimed in a statement that US forces have found more than 70 tons of “ammonium perchlorate,” which is typically used in the production of rocket fuel and explosives.

A Saudi-led military coalition, fighting the Houthis aligned with Iran in Yemen since 2015 has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying weapons to the group, an allegation denied by Tehran. “That was a huge amount of explosives, enough to refuel more than a dozen medium-range ballistic missiles per size,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, Fifth Fleet. and combined maritime forces. “The illegal transfer of deadly aid from Iran does not go unnoticed. It is irresponsible and dangerous and leads to violence and instability in all of the Middle East, “he added. There was no immediate Iranian comment on the indictment.

Fifth Fleet said the intercepted ship was led by a crew of four Yemenis and was carrying 100 tons of urea-based fertilizer, which is used in agriculture, as well as to produce explosives. She added that US forces sank the ship Sunday in the Gulf of Oman because she was “a shipping hazard for commercial cargo” and her crew was handed over to the Yemeni Coast Guard. And last December, the Fifth Fleet seized a load of rifles and ammunition on a fishing boat that they believed came from Iran and was in trip to supply the Houthis.