Sunday, January 25, 2009

Iranian Arms Ship Intercepted En Route To Hamas

The rearming of Hamas has started already.

The US navy Task Force 151, probably acting on covert intel intercepted the Iranian freighter Nochegorsk flying a Cypriot flag in the Bab al-Mandeb Straits.The ship was en route to Gaza via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

They found various munitions including what appeared to be artillery shells on board - and US sailors using metal detectors found welded steel compartments packed with more cargo hidden near the bottom of the hull.

Even though this is a joint effort by the US and Israeli navies, The US Navy was very adamant that they would be the ones stopping the ship rather than the Israeli navy out of fear of an international incident just when the Obama administration is planning a new diplomatic engagement with Iran,but that's also led to an unforeseen problem.

In order to thoroughly search the Nochegorsk and unseal the compartments,they're going to need to tow it to a port and that's becoming a problem.

The Israeli port of Eilat was out because of the reasons already mentioned, so far our 'allies' in Egypt, Jordan and the Persian Gulf would rather not be involved, and the other nearby ports are either hostile or pirate controlled.

The last I heard, the Nochegorsk was moored at an Egyptian Red Sea port pending a decision on what to do with it.

The EU is reportedly pushing the Egyptians to take more of a proactive attitude towards cutting down on arms smuggling.

Good luck with that.The tunnels are already being rebuilt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In some ways this is crappy. I'm glad the ship was intercepted, however, Israel does all of the hard work in getting this done and due to polticial reaons they don't get the credit they deserve. By "covert intel", in all probability this means intel supplied by Israeli intellegence. It is unlikely that the current CIA has the competence to infiltrate the Iranian military or the Iranian government and it is also unlikely that Egypt is going to help the Americans in this area. As such, all the work was likely done by the Israelis.

As for stopping the ship, if the US Navy tried to board the ship, the Iranians would have resisted this. We would have expected massive casualties on the part of the US and the prospects of a successufl boarding would still be iffy at best. Israeli military forces are better trained, better led, and technologically better than US military forces. In other words, for this vessel to have been boarded successfully with minimal casualties the Israelis would have had to have done the heavy lifting in securing the vessel. But for political reasons the US gets the credit in name only for this operation. Without the Israelis the operation is unlikely to be sucessful.

Since this a covert operation, why is it in the news media? Who leaked this? Whoever leaked this should be proseucted to the fullest extent possible.