US Sends Seized Iranian Ammunition to Ukraine

 – The U.S.has sent Ukraine more than 1 million rounds of Iranian ammunition that had been seized last year, the U.S. military said on Wednesday.

U.S. naval forces for years have been seizing weapons believed to be from Iran bound for Iran-backed fighters in Yemen, usually transported by fishing vessels.

[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” credit=”Thousands of AK-47 assault rifles sit on the flight deck of guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) during an inventory process, Jan. 7. U.S. naval forces seized 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles from a fishing vessel transiting along a maritime route from Iran to Yemen. REUTERS./” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionsrc=”custom” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for military operations in the Middle East, said about 1.1 million 7.62 mm rounds were sent to Ukraine.

They were originally seized by U.S. naval forces in December 2022 and being transferred from Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards to Houthi forces in Yemen.

“The U.S. is committed to working with our allies and partners to counter the flow of Iranian lethal aid in the region by all lawful means including U.S. and U.N. sanctions and through interdictions,” the Central Command statement said.

The ammunition is unlikely to make a major difference on the battlefield at a time when long-range weapons and air defense systems are on top of Ukraine’s wish list.

The seized ammunition being transferred are also unlikely to ease concerns about the continued flow of western weapons to Kyiv.

Congress included no new money for Ukraine in the stopgap U.S. spending bill it passed on Saturday to keep the federal government open, highlighting the increasing reluctance of some Republicans to provide funds for Kyiv.

Last year, Britain’s Royal Navy said one of its warships had seized Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air-missiles and engines for cruise missiles, from smugglers in international waters south of Iran.

Yemen’s Houthi movement has battled a Saudi-led coalition since 2015 in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and left 80% of the population dependent on aid.

The United States has put pressure on its ally Saudi Arabia to end the war and linked some U.S. military support to the kingdom to ending its involvement in Yemen.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali. Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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