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U.S. forces strike Yemen’s Houthis, seize Iranian weapons shipment


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American forces have carried out four more self-defense strikes against Yemen’s Houthi rebels after a U.S. Coast Guard cutter seized an Iranian weapons shipment bound for the militant group. 

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement Thursday that its forces yesterday afternoon “successfully conducted four self-defense strikes against seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, three mobile unmanned aerial vehicles, and one explosive unmanned surface vessel in Houthi controlled areas of Yemen, that were prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea.” 

“CENTCOM identified these mobile missiles, UAVs, and USV in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined they presented an imminent threat to U.S. Navy ships and merchant vessels in the region,” it added. “These actions will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S. Navy and merchant vessels.” 

The strikes come about two weeks after a U.S. Coast Guard ship deployed to the region “seized advanced conventional weapons and other lethal aid originating in Iran and bound to Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen from a vessel in the Arabian Sea on Jan. 28,” CENTCOM revealed Thursday. 

IRAN DECLARES ANTARCTICA ITS PROPERTY IN DIRECT CHALLENGE TO BIDEN, GLOBAL TREATY 

Weapons found on ship heading to Yemen's Houthi rebels

The weapons and equipment that U.S. forces found onboard a ship that originated in Iran and was bound for Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Jan. 28. (CENTCOM)

U.S. military officials say the Sentinel-class fast-response cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. located the ship, boarded it and found more than 200 packages of weaponry. 

The packages contained “medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater/surface vehicle components, military-grade communication and network equipment, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, and other military components,” according to CENTCOM. 

IRAN BOASTS OF CAPABILITY TO ATTACK ISRAELI BASE AFTER NUCLEAR OFFICIAL INDICATES ABILITY TO CREATE BOMB 

US Coast Guard intercepts ship with weapons for Yemen's Houthi rebels

The U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class fast-response cutter USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. intercepted the ship in the Arabian Sea on Jan. 28. (CENTCOM)

An image released of the haul shows stacks of gear piled up on the deck of the ship. 

“This is yet another example of Iran’s malign activity in the region,” said Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, said in a statement. “Their continued supply of advanced conventional weapons to the Houthis is in direct violation of international law and continues to undermine the safety of international shipping and the free flow of commerce.” 

Houthi fighters march

Houthi fighters march during a rally of support for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and against the U.S. strikes on Yemen outside Sanaa on Jan. 22. (AP)

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CENTCOM added that it is “committed to working with our allies and partners to counter the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region by all lawful means including U.S. and U.N. sanctions and through interdictions.” 

Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report. 

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