A 330-ton US Navy patrol ship assisted by a 9,500-ton US destroyer have seized a large cache of small arms aboard a stateless dhow in the Arabian Sea believed to be bound for Huthi forces who hold the Yemini capital Sana'a.
The navy said the dhow held 1,500 AK47s, 200 RPG and twenty-one 50-caliber machine guns. It said the navy confiscated the arms and then released the crew on board the dhow according to Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
"This seizure is the latest in a string of illicit weapons shipments assessed by the US to have originated in Iran that were seized in the region by naval forces," the military said.
Iran is backing Yemen's Huthi force in a war against a Saudi-led, US-backed coalition on the side of the Hadi forces, who hold the Port of Aden.
US military officials have linked similar weapons seizures by the Australian and French navies earlier this year to Iran and the Shi'ite Huthi forces, though Iran and the Huthi deny it.
US officials have said Iran's direct involvement with the Huthis is limited, but that Iranian military personnel were training and equipping Huthi units.
The Saudi-backed coalition has been fighting to restore Yemen's former president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power since last year.
UN-sponsored peace talks are scheduled to start in Kuwait on April 18, and a truce is scheduled to start at midnight on April 10 ahead of the talks.