Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Did the weapons on the Victoria come from Iranian ships last month?

From the IDF:

Below is a preliminary list of weaponry and weaponry systems discovered and unloaded this morning at the Ashdod Port hidden in the cargo of the “Victoria” vessel.
  • 230 mortar shells, 120 mm
  • 2,270 mortar shells, 60 mm
  • 6 C-704 anti-ship missiles
  • 2 radar systems manufactured in England
  • 2 launchers
  • 2 hydraulic mounting cranes for radar system
  • 66,960  bullets for the Kalashnikov, 7.62 millimeter
It is important to note that the C-704 shore-to-sea missiles have a range of 35 kilometers and according to assessments, their intended destination to the Gaza Strip would have constituted a significant gain in the weapons capabilities of terror organizations operating there.
The identification document for the anti-ship missiles was in Persian and contained emblems of the Iranian government throughout. In addition, the ship left from the Syrian port of Lattakia before stopping in Turkey to make its way to Egypt. To the IDF’s understanding,  Egypt and Turkey had no prior knowledge of the weaponry.
This incident further demonstrates Iranian and Syrian involvement in strengthening and arming terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere.
It is notable that the Iranian ships that went through the Suez Canal last month docked at the same Syrian port. Here's how Iran's PressTV described it:
Two Iranian ships, Khark and Alvand, docked at Syria's Lattakia Port following their passage through the Suez Canal, a strategic international shipping route in Egypt, for the first time since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979.

The 1,500-ton patrol frigate Alvand is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-ton supply vessel Khark has 250 crewmembers and can carry three helicopters.

Tehran has announced that the two Iranian warships in Lattakia are “on a routine and friendly visit and carry the message of peace and friendship to world countries.”

On Friday, Sayyari signed a navy cooperation deal with his Syrian counterpart General Taleb al-Barri aboard Iranian vessel Khark.

Syrian navy officials toured the two Iranian ships on the same day.
Are the 50 tons of weapons on the Victoria part of the "message of peace and friendship" that was carried by the Khark?