The latest report from the United Nations Panel of Experts on Yemen has revealed that a Quds-1 cruise missile, a C802 anti-ship missile, and what it believes were surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) of a previously unseen type were seized by destroyer USS Forrest Sherman on 25 November 2019.
The seizure was announced soon after the event, with the Pentagon saying on 4 December 2019 that advanced missile components that were believed to be of Iranian origin and destined for the Houthi rebels in Yemen were found when sailors searched a dhow in the Arabian Sea.
"The seizure includes sophisticated weapons, sophisticated components of anti-ship cruise missiles, land-attack cruise missiles, air-defence missiles, and anti-tank missiles," US Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook told a press briefing the following day. "The weapon components comprise the most sophisticated weapons seized by the US Navy to date during the Yemen conflict."
He showed photographs of what appeared to be the radar seeker from an anti-ship missile and Kornet anti-tank missiles but no other details were forthcoming at that time.
Released on 6 February, the UN report included photographs showing the anti-ship missile was marked as a C802: a Chinese type that is in service in Iran, which produces its own version called the Noor. The report said the 21 Kornets that were on the dhow had the same markings as the Iranian-made Dehlavieh version.
More significantly, the seized cache included a cruise missile of the same type as the ones used in a series of attacks on Saudi Arabia, most notably against the Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities on 14 September 2019. The Houthis have identified the missile as the Quds-1 (the name used by the panel), while the Saudi military has referred to it as the Iranian-made Ya Ali.
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