Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM or CENTCOM) an innovative US-Saudi “trap” in cooperation with partners in the region, working on developing a center to test innovative initiatives to combat drones.
Kurilla stressed his country’s commitment to deepening cooperation between the US Central Command and all its regional partners to combat the joint Iranian-Houthi threat to attack the Kingdom with drones.
Kurilla added, in an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper: “We will continue anti-smuggling operations with the Royal Saudi Navy to stop the shipment of advanced conventional munitions by sea to support Houthi operations.”
“We finally succeeded in preventing the entry of explosive materials into the region from Iranian territory, stressing the inevitability of military cooperation between Riyadh and Washington. This will enhance the security and stability of the region,” he added.
The commander of the US Central Command continued: “On November 8, our forces intercepted a stateless dhow in the Gulf of Oman originating from Iran smuggling a massive number of explosive materials into Yemen, including 360,000 pounds of fertilizer (urea) that is used in explosives, and (ammonium chlorate), which is used as fuel for ballistic missiles”.
Kurilla stressed that integrated air and missile defense and the disruption of advanced conventional weapons produced in Iran, including those supplied to the Houthis, are a functional priority for them and their military partners.
On the US-Saudi plan to deal with drones from Yemen, Kurilla said: “The central command supports the Kingdom in defending its lands and people from Houthi attacks across the border. We remain committed to deepening cooperation and coordination between US Central Command and all of our partners in the region to combat this common drone threat.”
The commander of the US Central Command acknowledged that Iran poses a threat to international peace and security in general, and the region in particular. He noted that Tehran is considered the leading destabilizing player in the region.