(JTA) — Cyprus removed arms from an Iranian ship headed for Syria.
Cypriot officials said Friday that the Iranian-leased ship was violating an arms embargo.
A U.S. Navy contingent had boarded the vessel late last month in the Red Sea and determined that it was loaded with arms to be smuggled to Hamas terrorists fighting a war with Israel in the Gaza Strip. The raid came after Israel made enhanced international efforts to stop the arms flow to Gaza a condition of ending the war there.
The boat’s captain ignored a U.S. order to dock in Egypt for further inspections and instead headed for Cyprus, where the boat is flagged.
Cypriot officials would not allow the ship to continue to Syria, its ostensible final destination, and on Friday ordered its cargo removed.
The officials would not describe the arms; U.S. Navy officials had said the cargo included artillery shells.