Cyprus detains a ship bound for Syria from North Korea – on Interpol and Israeli tip-off about military cargo
debkafile‘s military sources report the 18 truck-mounted mobile radar systems and three command vehicles, billed as “weather-observation equipment,” were a part of a consignment Iran purchased from North Korea for Hizballah.
The shipment was billed as weather-observation equipment on the freight manifest of the Panamanian-flagged Gregorio 1. Syria was not listed as the consignee. But the Syrian government asked Cyprus to release the seized consignment.
This is the first irrefutable proof that Syria and Iran are in blatant violation of the arms embargo laid down in Security Council resolution 1701.
There is no embargo on arms shipments from North Korea or Cyprus to Syria and it is not clear if the Cypriot authorities intend to impound the cargo in view of the discrepancy between the manifest and the freight.
However, intelligence sources believe the systems aboard the Grigorio 1 are intended to complement the anti-air missiles which have already reached Hizballah via Syria, the main conduit of arms to the Lebanese Shiite terrorists.
The Gregorio 1 which set out from North Korea reached Port Said in Egypt and was on its way to the Syrian port of Latakia when it put into Cyprus to refuel.