Houthis: CENTCOM Intercepts Iranian Weapons Shipment, Exposing Iran’s Malign Activity

Houthis: CENTCOM Intercepts Iranian Weapons Shipment, Exposing Iran’s Malign Activity

Introduction of Houthis

The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) recently announced the interception of a shipment of Iranian-origin weapons and military equipment bound for Houthi rebels in Yemen. This significant development underscores America’s growing concern over Iran’s continued support for the Houthis and its destabilizing influence in the region.

Interception of Iranian Weapons

On January 28, the US Coast Guard intercepted a vessel in the Arabian Sea carrying a vast cache of sophisticated weaponry. The weapons included medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, unmanned underwater and surface vehicles, military-grade communications and networking equipment, and anti-tank missile launchers. These items were deemed to be in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216, which prohibits the supply of such arms to the Houthis.

US Self-Defense Strikes

In addition to the weapons interception, CENTCOM also reported conducting self-defense strikes against Houthi targets in recent weeks. On February 13, US forces targeted a mobile anti-ship cruise missile preparing to attack shipping in the Red Sea. The following day, four more self-defense strikes were carried out against seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles, three unmanned aerial vehicles, and an explosive device, all poised to launch attacks against Red Sea vessels.

Targeting Iran’s Supply Chain

The US military is determined to disrupt the flow of Iranian arms to the Houthis. CENTCOM has stated that it is “committed to using all available legal authorities, including US and UN sanctions and interdictions, to deter the illicit flow of Iranian support to the region.” This suggests that the US may consider further actions to target Iran’s supply chain.

Houthi Resilience

Despite US efforts, the Houthis have demonstrated remarkable resilience in their fight against the US. This is largely due to their ability to acquire and deploy advanced weaponry, such as ballistic missiles and drones. The source of these weapons has been a subject of speculation, with Iran being the prime suspect.

China’s Role

The US has identified China as a key player in the supply of weapons and components to the Houthis. According to the commentary, China has adopted a strategy of “fractionalization,” whereby it breaks down critical military components into smaller, less conspicuous parts and ships them through various companies and routes. This strategy makes it difficult for the US to pinpoint and intercept the flow of arms.

China’s Control over Key Components

The commentary emphasizes that China maintains control over the production of key military components, giving it leverage over the Houthis. The Houthis are heavily dependent on Chinese military assistance and would be unable to operate effectively without it.

US Understanding of China’s Support for Russia

The US government is well aware of China’s support for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. China has not provided direct military equipment to Russia but has instead employed the same fractionalization strategy to supply critical components. The US recognizes this as a threat to its interests and is taking steps to counter it.

US Military’s Response

The US military has developed a set of protocols for dealing with suspected terrorist activity or weapons shipments. These protocols authorize the military to intercept and seize any suspicious items and take necessary action. The commentary suggests that the US is prepared to use these protocols to target Chinese companies and individuals involved in supplying weapons to the Houthis.

Targeting Supply Chain

The US military is compiling a list of entities involved in the production of weapons components for the Houthis. These entities may face sanctions or even military strikes in the future. The US believes that disrupting the supply chain can weaken the Houthis and reduce their ability to launch attacks.

The US government has established a legal framework to justify its actions against Chinese entities providing assistance to Russia. The commentary outlines a graduated approach, starting with warnings and moving to sanctions and direct strikes. This framework provides the US with the necessary authority to combat Chinese interference.

China’s Engineering Capabilities

The commentary highlights China’s strengths in engineering and technical expertise. These capabilities allow China to manufacture and assemble sophisticated weapons systems. The Houthis are likely receiving assistance from Chinese engineers to assemble and operate the weapons they have acquired.

Conclusion

The US government is taking a comprehensive approach to address China’s support for the Houthis in Yemen. By targeting the supply chain, disrupting production facilities, and establishing a legal basis for action, the US aims to deter China’s destabilizing activities. The ongoing conflict in Yemen remains a complex and challenging issue, but the US is committed to using all available means to promote stability and security in the region.

  1. https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1758084937331454351 (CENTCOM Intercepts Iranian Weapons Shipment Intended for Houthis)
  2. https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1757751833412735203 (Feb. 13 Summary of Red Sea activities)
  3. https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1758068897406955863 (Feb. 14 Summary of Red Sea activities)
  4. https://twitter.com/committeeonccp/status/1757756819974295577 (REPORT FINDING: Multiple U.S. VC firms financing China’s military & human rights abuses told us they were afraid of cooperating with our investigation, fearing CCP retaliation.One firm said its personnel in China were “scared to death”.)
  5. https://fortune.com/2024/02/14/microsoft-iran-north-korea-russia-china-beginning-use-generative-ai-offensive-cyberattacks/ (Microsoft says Iran, North Korea, Russia and China are beginning to use generative AI in offensive cyberattacks)
  6. https://twitter.com/robertcobrien/status/1757949122504724579 (Revelations that pro-Hamas hackers used common social media sites to target Israeli software just before 10/7 are concerning. If other nations follow the EU in enacting DMA style legislation, such attacks will multiply, and become harder to detect.)
  7. https://twitter.com/USA_China_Talk/status/1758070898471604647 (胡塞武装(Houthi)对红海及附近亚丁湾(Gulf of Aden)的船只发动的袭击提高了企业成本。绕过好望角(Cape of Good Hope)前往北欧的船只的燃料成本增加了100万美元。一般来说,这些成本通常要由消费者承担。)
  8. Click here for more from Liberty Of Voice.

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