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241 words - July 11, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On July 8, Yemeni Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed thanked the Turkish Ambassador to Yemen Fazli Corman for Ankara's "current security cooperation (…) which led to seizing (a) ship - foreign-flagged "Svetla" that set off from Turkish ports - that was carrying arms shipment smuggled to Yemen by arms traffickers."
Though the investigation is still ongoing, the "seized weapons were planned to reach its destination inside Yemen," security sources explained, while analysts wondered in what extent these weapons were actually bound for Syria. In this framework, Turkey and Yemen have developed closer relationship based on recently-signed cooperation agreements and on a common and growing commitment to combating terrorism and arms smuggling. For instance, Yemeni officers are currently trained in the Turkish Military Academy. According to the government of Yemen, the bilateral cooperation participated in significant seizures of arms shipments during the last two years.
On January 23, the Iranian ship "Jihan 1" which was carrying 40 tons of Iran- and Russian-made weapons, including 20 anti-aircraft missiles, was intercepted off Yemen's coast. According to a penal court in Aden governorate, the nine crew members have traveled using forged documents to Iran, "where they received training in use of arms, explosives, sniper attacks, urban warfare and advanced naval communications," a statement said. As the Syrian crisis exacerbates, Ambassador Corman reiterated Turkey's willingness to "offer all kind of assistance Yemen requires."
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