A U.S. Navy crew found much more than barracuda or grouper this week upon searching what appeared to be a fishing vessel operating in the Persian Gulf region, instead discovering a cache of Iranian-linked missiles and other weapons.
The USS Normandy came across a suspicious dhow Sunday while the ship was conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
A party from the Norfolk, Va.-based guided missile cruiser went aboard the dhow and found more than 150 anti-tank guided missiles and surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging weapons scopes, components for unmanned aerial vehicles and surface vessels along with other munitions and weapons parts, U.S. Central Command officials said in a statement.
The items were either Iranian copies of Russian missiles or Iranian designed and manufactured weapons, officials said.
Much of the cache discovered by the Normandy crew is identical to advanced weapons seized in late November in the Arabian Sea area by a crew from the USS Forrest Sherman. Those weapons also were determined to have been of Iranian origin, officials said.
The weapons are believed to have been intended for anti-U.S. Houthi rebels in Yemen. Supplying them with weapons is in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
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