Early Wednesday morning, Israeli naval commandos boarded a cargo ship carrying weapons off the coast of Sudan in the Red Sea, preventing an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.
The ship was flying a Panama flag, but is thought to be Iranian. The shipment of weapons originated from Syria, from where it was flown to Iran, and from there the weapons were shipped out to Sudan, its final destination the Gaza Strip. The weapons were disguised as sacks of cement. The IDF has indicated that the shipment is clearly an Iranian operation. The ship initially tried evasive maneuvers by sailing towards Iraq. Due to the combination of in-depth intelligence and enhanced operational capabilities, the operation was a success.
The ship was carrying long-range missiles, including M-302 missiles, which have a 200-km range, and numerous other advanced weapons.
Chief of Staff Benny Gantz personally commanded the operation together with Naval Commander Ram Rotenberg. An IDF spokesman announced that a military personnel and crew members were all in good shape and that the ship is now on its way to Eilat.
IDF Spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner stated, “The IDF will continue to operate against the Iranian attempts to arm regional terrorist organizations who intend to continuously ignite our borders. We will continue to employ all the necessary means in order to prevent the armament of terrorist organizations and will combat the Iranian smuggling attempts that threaten the security and sovereignty of the State of Israel.” (Tazpit News Agency) v