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Israeli Naval Commandos Seize Iranian Missile Ship

Updated on March 5, 2014
The deadly cargo from Iran-Syria
The deadly cargo from Iran-Syria
The range would put Israel in target
The range would put Israel in target
The cargo ship
The cargo ship
The transit map
The transit map

With the dramatic events of the Russian seizure of the Crimea and threatening to drag the Ukraine into a war, most news items have been lost that would have normally been headlines. One is the seizure of the Iranian ship, Klos, a transport flying under the Panamanian flag, on March 4th. US intelligence and Israeli forces had been following the curious path of the dozens of 302mm missiles, each with a range of 150 km. The curious path began in Damascus, Syria, where the missiles were loaded in Iranian commercial aircraft and flown across Iraq to Bandar Abbas port, in Iran, located on the Persian Gulf. Then, the missiles were loaded onto the Klos transport, which sailed to Port Sudan, Sudan. President Barack Obama also directed the US military to work out contingencies in case it became necessary to intercept the vessel (thereby sanctioning military action).

Israeli commandos of Flotilla 13, in a daring, secret raid, took the ship with little opposition and found the deadly cargo under hundreds of bags of cement. This attack marks the first time in four years that the US and Israel have collaborated in an operation against Iran since the Stuxnet virus attack in 2010 against their nuclear facilities. The US and Israel appear to be lining up some of their military policies against the Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah bloc. The Israeli commandos seized the vessel in open sea near Sudan and Eritrea.

Port Sudan has been transformed in the last two years into a major Iranian weapons manufacturing and logistic depot, which supplies Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. It is also the hub for the smuggling of Iranian arms to various Middle East locations. The perplexing question is, where were the rockets actually headed?

The IDF said the Iranian missile cargo was destined for the Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, if this were the case, Gaza much closer to Syria than to fly the missiles to Iran, put on a ship and travel to the Red Sea. Why such a long and round about route? Some military sources believe the shipment as not destined for Hamas at all for use against Israel, but rather for Muslim Brotherhood activists fighting the Egyptian army from their forward base in the Gaza Strip. Another more remote possibility is al-Qaeda. While Iran claims to have made them an enemy in Iraq and Lebanon, intercepted transmissions also show that Iran and al-Qaeda, when it benefits both, are allied. There is an al-Qaeda presence in the area. Odds are they might have been for both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Iran, despite the nuclear negotiations with the West, still has its own agenda in the region of stoking chaos to benefit them. If they were for al-Qaeda, then, it would be for the numerous affiliated groups in the area or Sinai.


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