Israel nabs Iranian weapons ship

JERUSALEM, Nov. 4 (UPI) — Israeli naval commandos intercepted an Iranian arms cargo ship flying an Antigua flag some 100 nautical miles off the Israeli coast, the army said Wednesday.

Defense officials said they suspect the Iranian-made arms found aboard the Francop near Cyprus were headed for Syria and eventual transfer to Hezbollah and possibly other terror organizations, Maariv said.

Israeli special forces boarded the ship before dawn Wednesday and discovered the arms and ammunition. The vessel was towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod for further examination, where 122 mm. Katyusha rockets, grenades, assault rifles and mortar shells were found aboard the ship.

The ship documents described the cargo as being for “civilian use.”

This is not the first time Israeli military forces have nabbed ships smuggling weapons. In 2002 special naval forces backed by air support uncovered a huge weapons haul on the Karine A, which carried some 50 tons of military equipment including advanced rockets, explosives and anti-tank missiles. Last April Egyptian media also reported that Israeli armed forces sank an Iranian weapons ship off the Sudanese coast.



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