A boat carrying explosive materials from Iran has been intercepted in the Gulf of Oman on a route typically used by Houthi rebels in Yemen, the US Navy said Tuesday.
The ship, which represented “a danger to merchant navigation” was sunk on November 13 in the Gulf of Oman and its four Yemeni crew members were transferred to the Yemen, said a statement issued by the United States 5th Fleet based in Bahrain.
The American forces had found on board more than 70 tons of ammonium perchlorate and more than 100 tons of fertilizer based on urea, substances that can be used to make fuel for missiles as well as explosives.
This quantity is “enough to fuel more than a dozen medium-range ballistic missiles, depending on their size,” Vice Admiral Brad Cooper of Naval Forces Central Command said.
According to the statement, the ship was intercepted on Nov. 8 while “in transit from Iran on a route historically used for arms trafficking to the Houthis”.
Yemeni power, supported by a coa Saudi Arabia-led military lition accuses the Islamic Republic of supporting the rebels, which Tehran denies.
Since 2014, the conflict in Yemen has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and plunged the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula in one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
A UN-brokered truce in April gave people respite for six months, but its expiration, the two parties did not reach an agreement to extend it.