The US military said early Friday it seized over 1,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles being smuggled by small ships in the Gulf of Aden amid the ongoing war in nearby Yemen. The seizure by the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham may mark the first such interdiction of weapons at sea bound for Yemen in years for American forces patrolling the region.However, the military did not say whom they suspected of smuggling the weapons. As the vessels bob in the high waves, people on the dhow toss large boxes into the skiff. The US Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, said sailors boarded the boats Tuesday, uncovering the arms cache. Photos released by the Navy showed what appeared to be new Kalashnikov rifles wrapped in plastic. It said those aboard the vessels were handed over to Yemeni forces loyal to its exiled government in Saudi Arabia.The US military did not offer a location for the seizure in the Gulf of Aden, which has Yemen to its north and Somalia to its south. Smuggling of drugs, weapons and charcoal into and out of Somalia by criminal gangs and militant groups remains common.Published in Daily Times, September 1st 2018.