Aussies intercept arms headed for Yemen, likely from Iran
An Australian naval ship has seized a large arms cache that may have come from Iran and headed to Yemen by way of Somalia.The Somali smuggling route is one used before by Iran. After the weapons were seized, the crew was released. Those who paid for the smuggling attempt may not be pleased. The Houthis are being worn down by the Arab attacks led by Saudi Arabia and the quarantine around Yemen has made it difficult to get resupplied by Iran. Some reports have indicated the Houthis are ready for peace talks with the Saudis.
The Australian Navy said that one of its ships patrolling the region, the HMAS Darwin, intercepted a small, stateless fishing vessel about 170 nautical miles off the coast of Oman when it made the discovery.
On board they found more than 2,000 pieces of weaponry -- including 1,989 AK-47 assault rifles and 100 rocket-propelled grenades.
According to a U.S. assessment, the weapons were believed to be initially sent from Iran and were likely intended for Houthi rebels in Yemen, Lt. Ian McConnaughey with the U.S. Navy told CNN.
An Australian Defense Ministry spokesman told CNN there were 18 people of various nationalities on board the ship, but officials could not initially confirm that their identification documents were valid.