Ship with arms for Syria stopped in Lebanese waters


The vessel 'Lutfallah II' docks at the port of Selaata, north of Beirut, on April 27, 2012 after it was intercepted by the Lebanese navy for being suspected of carrying weapons destined for Syria's rebel army, a security official said.


Joseph Eid

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A Sierra Leonean ship bound for Syria was detained by the Lebanese navy earlier this week. A search revealed "weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and rifles in three freight containers," Reuters wrote

The Letfallah II was sailing near Tripoli, Lebanon's second-largest city, after a stop in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria. Its contents bolster claims made by the government of Bashar al-Assad that Syrian rebels are being armed by outside forces. Tripoli is home to many Syrian refugees, and its mostly Sunni population holds frequent demonstrations against the Syrian government.

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Syria's government is dominated by Shia-linked Alawites, and many of the cities hit hardest by the government crackdown are mostly Sunni, Reuters said. 

The Daily Star wrote the ship "was carrying light, medium and heavy weaponry."

The 11-member crew has been detained and is being questioned by Lebanese authorities. "The owner of the ship is a Syrian identified as Mohammad Khafaja and its Lebanese agent is Ahmad Bernard," the Star wrote.

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