Russian ship bound for Syria full of arms
No wonder the Russians are preventing the UN Security Council from slapping an arms embargo on Syria.
Syria is one of Russia's top weapons customers. The United States and European Union have suggested the U.N. Security Council should impose an arms embargo and other U.N. sanctions on Syria for its 14-month assault on a pro-democracy opposition determined to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
But Russia, with the support of fellow veto power China, has prevented the council from imposing any U.N. sanctions on Syria and has refused to halt arms sales to Damascus.
"Al Arabiya have learned that a Russian cargo ship carrying a large amount of weapons plans to unload its cargo in the Syrian port of Tartus," the broadcaster said on its website on Thursday.
The report said the ship left a Russian port on May 6 and cited a "Western source" as saying that it will dock at Tartus on Saturday.
"The ship is trying to conceal its final destination in a suspicious way," Al Arabiya said.
Western diplomats and officials said the report was credible.
In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had seen reports of countries supplying arms to the government and rebels. He urged states not to arm either side in the Syrian conflict.
"Those who may contemplate supporting any side with weapons, military training or other military assistance, must reconsider such options to enable a sustained cessation of violence," he said.
Russia has defended its weapons deliveries to Syria in the face of Western criticism, saying government forces need to defend themselves against rebels receiving arms from abroad. Damascus says Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Libya are among the countries helping the rebels.
Russia has said in the past that it supports the cease fire efforts of the UN so it's hard to see how supplying more weapons to Assad's forces will further that goal. And it's pretty certain that some of the bullets in that shipment will end up killing innocent civilians.
A high price to pay just to fatten the profits of Russian arms companies.