The United Kingdom on Thursday said that one of its warships seized advanced Iranian missiles in the Gulf of Oman earlier this year. The UK alleged that the sophisticated weaponry was being smuggled from Iran to Yemen.

As per Britain’s Ministry of Defence, speedboats carrying surface-to-air missiles and engines for land-attack cruise missiles were intercepted by HMS Montrose during routine patrols. The advanced weaponry from Iran was seized in January and February.

It was for the first time that a British Royal Navy warship intercepted vessels carrying such sophisticated weapons from Tehran. The speedboats were being operated by smugglers in international waters south of Iran, reported AFP.

As per the British Ministry, the illegal cargo was spotted by a Wildcat helicopter equipped with sophisticated radar systems launched from the Montrose. Notably, the second operation was carried out on February 25. In this operation, a United States Navy destroyer, the USS Gridley was also involved.

British Royal Marines led the operations. The advanced weaponry after being seized was taken to the UK for analysis. According to reports, Houthi rebels in Yemen regularly use these types of advanced missiles which were seized by the British warship to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia.

“The UK will continue to work in support of an enduring peace in Yemen and is committed to international maritime security so that commercial shipping can transit safely without the threat of disruption,” armed forces minister James Heappey as quoted by AFP.

Notably, Houthis seized Yemen’s capital city Sanaa in September 2014. In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched an intervention in the Yemeni Civil War in support of Yemen President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi after he was ousted by the Houthi movement.

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