Saudi-led Arab coalition forces battling the Shi'ite Houthi rebel group have announced they seized a Yemen-bound Iranian boat carrying weapons that was masquerading as a fishing boat south of Oman's Salalah coast.
The shipment, which was seized on 26 September, on the third day of Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, had 18 anti-armour shells, 54 anti-tank missiles, 15 battery kits and other weapons on board. The 14-strong crew was also arrested by Arab authorities, according to an al-Arabiya report.
A statement from the coalition said the missiles and weapons were destined to the Houthi rebels in Yemen who are still in control of the country's capital, Sana'a. The US-backed, Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against the Shi'ite group since March in a conflict that has killed at least 2,100 civilians, according to the UN. Iran is the main regional supporter of the Houthi rebels and regularly provides weapons for its fight against the Saudi coalition.
The ship's capture came after an alleged Saudi air strike on a wedding party in Yemen on 28 September led to the deaths of 131 people, mostly civilians, according to medical staff. In one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the country, two missiles hit two tents during a wedding for a local man linked to the Houthis in al-Wahijah, a village near the Red Sea port of al-Mokha.
A coalition spokesman suggested local militias may have been responsible for the raid. Brigadier-General Ahmed Al Asseri told Reuters: "There have been no air operations by the coalition in that area for three days. This is totally false news."