The Art of Smuggling Weapons Into the Middle East
With all the upheaval in the Middle East, the attention of many are not focused on weapon smuggling into the area. The usual suspects continue their trade, namely, Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah in Lebanon and its newest member, Alexandria in Egypt.
Luckily, Israel has continued focus and recently intercepted a ship, innocently called, Victoria. Victoria, is owned by a German shipping firm, operated by a French shipping company, yet, when sea-bound, flies under the Liberian flag! The ship was attempting to avoid an Israeli naval blockade to prevent the Hamas from rearming.
The ship was loaded with Chinese ship to ship C-704 missiles and other military weapons. Its journey began in the Syrian port of Latakia and then sailed to Turkey. Once it left Turkey, it sailed for Alexandria, Egypt, home of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Had the ship not been intercepted, documents show that weapons would have been unloaded and then transport them across the lawless Sinai and into Gaza, via Al Arish and underground tunnels within rocket range of Israel.
Recall that last month, during the Egyptian freedom revolution, two Iranian warships moved through the Suez Canal, first time since 1979. These ships were docked at Latakia and loaded with the weapons, then, loaded onto the Victoria when it also arrived there. The movement to Mercin, Turkey, by the Victoria, was nothing more than a ruse to disguise real intentions.
Two of the participants, Egypt and Turkey, are suppose to be friendly to the West, fighting terrorism. Yet, the facts make this disturbing as both countries could simple refuse docking rights to the ship once it was determined weapons were on aboard. None did. Then, there is the issue of two NATO countries, Germany and France, not taking action against the shipping firms about this latest event.