Stars and Stripes
February 2, 2023

French forces with US aid seize weapons said to be bound for Yemen

The U.S. military’s eyes in the sky helped French special operations forces seize thousands of rifles and anti-tank missiles on a vessel in the waters of the Middle East, defense officials said Thursday.

The interdiction took place Jan. 15 in the Gulf of Oman and included more than 3,000 assault rifles, 578,000 rounds of ammunition and 23 anti-tank guided missiles apparently bound for rebels in Yemen, an earlier U.S. Central Command statement said Wednesday.

French troops seized the weapons with the assistance of U.S. aerial surveillance….

The seizure is one of four announced interdictions over the past two months totaling more than 5,000 weapons and 1.6 million rounds of ammunition, the statement said.


In a response to an earlier report, officials at the U.S. State Department and Central Command said they do not know how to track whether U.S.-made weapons were used in Yemen by Saudi Arabia or the UAE against civilians, a Government Accountability Office report last June said.

A foreign nation killing civilians while using U.S. weapons would not necessarily count as “misuse,” as the term is not defined in official policy, U.S. military and State Department officials told GAO investigators.

Indiscriminate attacks by the Saudi-led coalition’s combat jets led to nearly 9,000 civilian deaths and almost 24,000 overall deaths since the war started, said a 2022 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, which which monitors war zones around the world.