Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Israel seizes ship it claims has missiles heading from Iran to Gaza

From Haaretz

Israeli naval forces on Wednesday intercepted a shipment of medium-range missiles near Sudan that were headed for the Gaza Strip.

Special forces from the Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13) unit overpowered the cargo vessel named the KLOS C – which is registered in Panama – in the early morning hours. A search aboard the vessel uncovered dozens of 302mm rockets, which are manufactured in Syria and were fired into Israel by Hezbollah during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. The rockets have a range of about 100 kilometers.

"We have conclusive evidence that there were rockets on board the ship, and we have proof and can say with certainty that Iran is behind this operation," a senior Israel Defense Forces officer said.

The officer said that the rockets originated in Syria, were loaded onto airplanes at the Damascus airport from which they were transported to Iran. There they were boarded onto the cargo ship, which set sail about 10 days ago en route to a port in Sudan.

The IDF tracked the ship, saying it sailed north toward Iraq instead of heading directly toward the African country. The army believes that, in Iraq, the rockets were covered with cement bags in an attempt to disguise the shipment after which the vessel continued to sail toward Sudan.

The Israeli raid occurred about a day before the ship was set to dock in Sudan. more


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