Russian ship with helicopters for Syrian regime sets sail again

by
July 14, 2012

By Tom Parfitt, The Telegraph

The Alaed’s previous attempt to convey the Mi-25 gunships to the regime of of President Bashar al-Assad under a Curaçao flag caused anger in London and Washington. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the aircraft would be used to kill innocent civilians.

The ship’s new destination is unclear but maritime data show it was travelling south off Norway on Thursday and is due in Baltiysk on the Baltic coast of Kaliningrad, Russia’s exclave between Poland and Lithuania, on July 17.

A spokesman for Femco, the Russian company which owns the cargo vessel, said on Friday that it would arrive in St Petersburg two days later and may then head to the Russian Far East.

Moscow has insisted it will deliver the Mi-25 helicopters in the teeth of western disapproval and it appears likely the ship’s real or eventual target is Syria.

The Alaed turned back 50 miles off Scotland on June 18 and returned to its home port of Murmansk after its British insurer found out it had weapons bound for Syria on board and cancelled its policy rather than violate a EU arms embargo.

To read more, visit:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/9398597/Russian-ship-with-helicopters-for-Syrian-regime-sets-sail-again.html

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