Support Us

US plans to supply Ukraine with smuggled Iranian weapons withdrawn from Yemeni militants

Tuesday, 14 February 2023, 20:13
US plans to supply Ukraine with smuggled Iranian weapons withdrawn from Yemeni militants

The U.S. military is considering sending Ukraine thousands of seized weapons and more than a million rounds of ammunition once bound for Iran-backed fighters in Yemen.

Source: The Wall Street Journal with reference to American and European unnamed officials, as reported by European Pravda

It would be an unprecedented step that would help Kyiv battle Russian forces.


U.S. officials said they are looking at sending Ukraine more than 5,000 assault rifles, 1.6 million rounds of small arms ammunition, a small number of antitank missiles, and more than 7,000 proximity fuses seized in recent months off the Yemen coast from smugglers suspected of working for Iran.

The challenge for the Biden administration is finding a legal justification for taking weapons from one conflict and transferring them to another. The U.N. arms embargo requires the U.S. and its allies to destroy, store or get rid of the seized weapons.

Biden administration lawyers have been looking at whether the resolution creates any possibility for them to transfer the weapons to Ukraine.

The rifles and ammunition have been seized in recent months by the U.S. and France as part of a global effort focused mainly on preventing Iran from smuggling weapons into Yemen. Tehran’s Houthi allies have been fighting an eight-year war against the Saudi-backed government, which was forced out of the capital in 2014.

Typically, the weapons are seized and destroyed by the U.S. and its allies enforcing a United Nations arms embargo on Yemen. But U.S. officials said the global effort to supply Ukraine with weapons triggered a discussion about sending the confiscated military supplies to Kyiv.

U.S. military officials began seriously considering the idea late in 2022 after the U.S. Navy seized a million rounds of ammunition on a fishing boat travelling from Iran to Yemen, the officials said.

NATO will ask its members to increase ammunition supplies that were significantly depleted by the war in Ukraine.

Journalists fight on their own frontline. Support Ukrainska Pravda or become our patron!