US Warships Board Iranian Ship Carrying Arms For Hamas

January 24th, 2009 Posted By Erik Wong.


Debka File:

Two US warships escort Iranian ship carrying arms for Hamas out through Suez Canal

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that a US Navy Coast Guard team this week boarded an Iranian arms ship flying a Cypriot flag in the Red Sea and found weapons in its hold.

This was the first time an America warship had ever intercepted an Iranian vessel in international water. The incident activated the Memo of Understanding the former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice signed with Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni a week ago on actions to halt the flow of Iranian arms to Hamas as part of the Gaza ceasefire.

The Iranian ship’s captain showed the US boarding team documents recording the Syrian port of Latakia as its cargo’s destination. DEBKAfile reports that both US and Israeli intelligence are certain the arms were bound for Hamas. But according to international law, the US Navy’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, set up last week to combat piracy, was not authorized to confiscate the cargo or stop the ship because no enforcement mechanism was yet in place.

After a few hours, therefore, the US force released the Iranian vessel and two warships escorted it out of Red Sea waters. The ship and its escort are due to enter the Suez Canal heading north Saturday night, Jan. 23, after being prevented from unloading its arms freight on the coast of Sinai or Gaza.

Tehran has so far not reacted to the incident.

DEBKAfile revealed last week that the new US task force policing the waters of the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Red Sea, under the command of Rear Adm. Terry McKnight, had been additionally assigned with intercepting Iranian ships smuggling arms for Hamas, often in conjunction with Somali pirates and Sinai Bedouin militias.

Massed on the lead ship San Antonio is a helicopter detachment, a “surgical team” for dealing with small speedboats trying to hem the ship in and 14 Navy VBSS members, including two Navy boarding officers. The Coast Guard detachment is made up of eight members, all of them qualified as boarding officers.

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    8 Responses to “US Warships Board Iranian Ship Carrying Arms For Hamas”

    1. Rob (CDTFLINT)

      Well, there we have it. PROOF, hard PROOF that the liberals won’t be able to deny, that the Iranians are funding and arming terrorist groups. Time to do something about it. :gun: I advise neutron bombs over Tehran….after all, we could use their oil to use as leverage against China and India. :twisted:

    2. bill-tb

      Obama’s war on terror looks a lot like Bush’s war on terror. The next terror hit on the USA is all Obama’s responsibility.

    3. Dan (san diego)

      This happened earlier in the week and the iranians have said nothing……..
      they are running scared right now, first their proxy gets its ass kicked in gaza, now the Americans board their freighter…..ha ha, they’re panties must be bunched so tight they can’t even see straight right now…
      Since the russians have finally sent them their air defense missles, the Israelis will certainly have to bomb them into oblivion soon, they have no choice.

    4. Dan (san diego)

      spam got the first one but my second thought is how does Debka always get the jump on our military news, they ALWAYS post it up first….odd

    5. XD-40

      :twisted: Just like Mexico, you will see a reversal of the Task Force orders if the theories are correct on Obamanation. It is to his advantage to foment as much unrest in the ME as it is the CONUS.

    6. If there was justice, we’d not only read about the ship not being allowed to be held or its cargo confiscated, we would read about how it was apparently scuttled by its captain shortly after a Navy SEAL team left it….

    7. Coastie CPO

      They should have sunk that vessel right then and there. And then detain the ship’s crew like what Iran did to the British Sailors a while back in the gulf. As a just warning to EVERYONE not to try an arm Hamas, or these Hezbollah dirt-bags.

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