Turkey Stops Suspected Iranian Arms Shipment to Syria

Posted August 5th, 2011 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Turkey's foreign minister says the country's authorities have intercepted an arms shipment from Iran that was destined for Syria.

Ahmet Davutoglu Friday confirmed a German report that a truck containing weapons was stopped in the south-central city of Kilis, near the border with Syria. Davutoglu said an investigation is under way. He did not elaborate.

The report Thursday in the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung quoted diplomatic sources as saying the arms were most likely intended for the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

There was no immediate response from Iran. It also is not clear when the arms were intercepted.

In March, Ankara informed the United Nations Security Council that it had found weapons and ammunition aboard an Iranian cargo plane bound for Syria. Turkish authorities ordered the plane to land in eastern Turkey on suspicion it was carrying weapons. The cargo included rocket launchers, mortars, rifles, explosive materials and ammunition.

The shipment was a breach of U.N. resolutions banning Iran from exporting arms.

Turkey had forced another Iranian plane to land for inspection several days earlier, but found nothing suspicious.