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American naval forces teamed up with their United Kingdom counterparts to seize “anti-tank guided missiles” and missile components from a boat that originated from Iran, military officials say.
The joint operation – in which the U.S. provided “airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support for an interdiction in the Gulf of Oman conducted by the United Kingdom Royal Navy” – happened on Feb. 23, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command announced Thursday.
“Coordinated efforts among U.S. and U.K. maritime forces led to Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster confiscating anti-tank guided missiles and missile components from a small boat that originated from Iran,” the Central Command said in a statement.
“U.K. forces discovered packages that included Iranian versions of Russian 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles, known in Iran as ‘Dehlavieh,’ and medium-range ballistic missile components,” the statement added.
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Anti-tank guided missiles and medium-range ballistic missile components are seen at a military facility in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations on Feb. 26, following the seizure in the Gulf of Oman. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Murphy)
The seizure happened along a route the U.S. says is historically used to funnel weapons unlawfully to Yemen.
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An illustration showing the medium-range ballistic missile components seized by the United Kingdom Royal Navy on Feb. 23. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Murphy)
Under a U.N. Security Council resolution and international law, it is illegal to supply, sell or transfer weapons to Houthi rebels in the war-torn Middle Eastern country, according to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
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Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, said the capture was the “seventh illegal weapon or drug interdiction in the last three months and yet another example of Iran’s increasing malign maritime activity across the region.”
Anti-tank guided missile tubes that were found by U.K. forces on the boat in the Gulf of Oman. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Murphy)
“In the past three months, seven major interdictions have resulted in U.S. and partner maritime forces seizing more than 5,000 weapons, 1.6 million rounds of ammunition, 7,000 proximity fuses for rockets, 2,100 kilograms of propellant used to launch rocket propelled grenades, 30 anti-tank guided missiles, medium-range ballistic missile components and $80 million worth of illegal drugs,” the Central Command also said.
Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.