No Sign of Improvement in Red Sea as CENTCOM Intercepts Weapons Shipment

No Sign of Improvement in Red Sea as CENTCOM Intercepts Weapons Shipment

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
February 15, 2024

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported having intercepted an Iranian ship carrying lethal weapons destined for the Houthis in Yemen. 

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter, USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr (WPC 1147), located the vessel and boarded it, uncovering vast amounts of conventional weapons and lethal aid.

According to CENTCOM, over 200 packages containing medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater/surface vehicle (UUV/USV) components, military-grade communication and network equipment, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, and other military components were discovered.

“This is yet another example of Iran’s malign activity in the region, ” said Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, CENTCOM commander. “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.”

The Houthis, an Iranian-backed rebel group, have been attacking Western ships traversing the Red Sea in retaliation for Israel's response to Hamas’ October 7th attacks. 

CENTCOM also announced it had conducted several self-defense strikes on Houthi targets yesterday, February 14th. 

Per CENTCOM, strikes against Houthi mobile anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), three mobile unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and one explosive unmanned surface vessel (USV) were conducted.

CENTCOM has increased its operations against the Houthis after the latter continued attacking US assets despite President Joe Biden’s warnings

Conservatives have fiercely criticized President Biden and Democrats’ response to the Houthis and the overall Middle-Eastern crisis.

Representative Cory Mills (R-FL) claimed Biden’s warnings will be futile given his conciliatory approach towards Iran and its proxies. 

 Rep. Mills pointed out that the Biden Administration had removed the Houthis from the foreign terrorist organization (FTO) list, added by President Trump.

Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) similarly criticized Biden, claiming his actions have emboldened Iran while limiting CENTCOM’s military response for political reasons. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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