German Ship Carrying Weapons Stopped Near Syria

At this time I am not positive which entity was on the receiving end of the military  equipment. Free Syrian Army or Assad?  Here’s a thought. A German owned freighter  loaded with heavy military equipment and munitions departed Djibouti port which also happens to be the home of Camp Lemonnier  Naval Expeditionary Base or this is all just BS.



Source: Der Spiegel

A German-owned freighter loaded with weapons from Iran was stopped on Friday near the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean Sea, SPIEGEL has learned.

 A few days prior, the Atlantic Cruiser, owned by the Emden carrier Bockstiegel, had allegedly picked up heavy military equipment and munitions meant for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s regime from an Iranian freighter at the Djibouti port. The cargo, desperately needed reinforcements for Assad’s crackdown on dissidents, was supposed to be unloaded on Friday.

But defectors from inside the Syrian government had learned of the delivery and warned the shipping company. On Friday the Atlantic Cruiser suddenly changed course, heading for the Turkish harbor of Iskenderun instead. Then the ship stopped some 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Tartus, sailing in circles for the next few hours.

“We stopped the ship after getting information on the weapons cargo,” shipping agent Torsten Lüddeke of Hamburg-based C.E.G. Bulk Chartering told SPIEGEL.

According to Lüddeke, the ship had been chartered by an Odessa, Ukraine-based company called White Whale Shipping. “They declared to us as cargo mainly pumps and similar things,” he said. “We never would have allowed weapons on board.” For now, the 6,200-ton ship will “stay where it is,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian shipping company has insisted that the Atlantic Cruiser is not carrying weapons and that it be allowed to dock in Tartus.

However, SPIEGEL has learned that the ship’s crew had attempted to refuel in the Cypriot port of Limassol, but was turned away after reporting its cargo as “weapons and munitions.”

The German Economics Ministry told the Associated Press on Saturday that it was looking into the matter, but provided no further details.

The route between Djibouti and Tartus is known as a path for transporting weapons, according to intelligence experts. In January another ship out of Russia was halted with munitions in Cyprus, but later continued its journey with the cargo to Syria after the captain declared he would head to a different port than initially planned.

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