Turkey stops ship with suspected arms headed for Syria (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/18/12)
AFP} Agence France Presse
AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-Top
Turkey has intercepted a vessel in the Mediterranean suspected of
carrying weapons and ammunition to Syria, a diplomatic source told
AFP on Wednesday.
"We received information that the vessel has a cargo of arms and
ammunition headed for Syria," the source said on condition of
anonymity, adding that Turkish authorities would search the vessel
later in the day.
The Antigua and Barbuda flagged "Atlantic Cruiser" belongs to a
German company, the source added.
The German shipping firm denied allegations Monday that its vessel
was carrying Iranian arms to Syria, violating EU sanctions against
the Damascus regime.
News weekly Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that the Atlantic
Cruiser, owned by German company Bockstiegel but chartered by a
Ukrainian firm, had been stopped on the high seas with Iranian
weapons on board.
Bockstiegel said they had no indication that the cargo included arms
or ammunition as stated in the press, and the Ukranian company that
chartered the ship further testified that the cargo contained no
weapons, but legal goods for civilian use.
The ship was stopped close to the Turkish port in Iskenderun for a
port inspection of its cargo.
Bockstiegel acknowledged that the ship´s crew had only been able to
check "the container stacked at the top," and the ship would continue
its journey only after it passes the inspection.
Iran is under a UN arms embargo imposed in 2007 due to its alleged
nuclear activities while Western countries have declared a similar
embargo against Iranian ally Syria since a bloody crackdown on
dissent began over a year ago.
Amid Damascus´ violent crackdown, Turkey imposed gradual sanctions
against its neighbour -- including interception of arms shipments
there by air, land and sea.
Throughout last year, Turkey intercepted several ships and trucks
suspected of carrying weapons into Syria through Turkish territory.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 04/18/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY