On March 11, the pro-Saudi Yemeni Customs Authority (YCA) announced that it had intercepted a large shipment of Iranian-made Dehlavieh anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) that was on its way to the Houthis (Ansar Allah).
In a statement, the YCA said that the shipment, which was hidden inside electrical generators, was intercepted at a border crossing with Oman.
“Customs officials discovered 52 missiles which were hidden inside four boxes after the [real] generators were removed,” Salem Aqeel, director of shipping at the YCA, said. “The operation was carried out very professionally, as a small dynamo was installed as an alternative to the generators to make the machine function normally in case it was turned on at the port. Still, the vigilance of customs officials exposed the plot.”
The Dehlavieh ATGM is licensed copy of the Russian-designed 9M133 Kornet. The missile has a range of more than 5 kilometers and can penetrate 1,000 mm of rolled homogeneous armour after explosive-reactive armour.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been reportedly shipping advanced weapons to the Houthis since the outbreak of the war in Yemen around seven years ago.
In the last few years, several alleged Iranian weapons shipment were intercepted inside or near Yemen. The US Navy have been hunting down such shipments to support the Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni proxies.
In January, the US Navy’s 5th Fleet seized on a fishing vessel carrying loads of a chemical material that can be used to make explosives in the Gulf of Oman. The vessel was allegedly sailing along a route historically used to traffic weapons to the Houthis in Yemen.
Despite all of these efforts, the Houthis’ offensive capabilities continue to grow. The group’s most recent operation targeted several oil facilities located deep inside Saudi Arabia.