US Navy seizes hundreds of small arms, including AK-47s, from a dhow (Wikimedia Commons)
The US Navy seized hundreds of small arms, including AK-47s, from an unflagged boat in the Gulf of Aden, a US defence official said on Wednesday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the incident took place on Tuesday and the boarding was carried out by the crew of the destroyer Jason Dunham. The unflagged vessel was a traditional dhow, or sailing boat.
The official declined to comment on the destination of the small vessel, but it was being investigated. The Gulf of Aden is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes – connecting Europe with Asia and the Middle East – with Yemen to the north, Somalia to the south and the Arabian Sea to the east. The defence official added that US Navy and allied ships have carried out similar operations in the past, including seizing drugs from vessels in the area. Last month, Saudi Arabia has said it is “temporarily halting” all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb in the Gulf of Aden after an attack on two oil tankers by Yemen’s Houthi movement. “Saudi Arabia is temporarily halting all oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb Strait immediately until the situation becomes clearer and the maritime transit through Bab al-Mandeb is safe,” said a statement by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.