New information has surfaced about the Iranian ship that was intercepted transporting weapons to Palestinian militants in Gaza. According to new information, the US Navy had orders to be “prepared to act” against the ship if so required. Navy ships moved into its proximity and were ready to take the means to act against it if ordered to.
The U.S. Navy had secret orders this week to be “prepared to act” to stop a cargo ship carrying Iranian arms destined for Gaza, CNN has learned.
Navy vessels in the Middle East received orders to move “into the proximity of the ship and act if ordered,” according to a senior U.S. military official familiar with the operation.
The scenario included the possibility of boarding the ship, which was eventually stopped in the Red Sea by Israeli naval forces, who authorities said seized a cargo of Iranian rockets and missiles.
A second American official confirmed that U.S. intelligence and the Israelis became aware of the effort by Iran to smuggle the weapons several days ago.
The United States secretly tracked the shipment as it left Iran by air and then landed in Syria. The weapons were then shipped into Iraq and loaded at a port in southern Iraq.
U.S. and Israeli intelligence grew concerned when the cargo ship in the Persian Gulf suddenly diverted from its expected heading to Sudan and suddenly turned north toward Iraq to load up.
The United States does not believe the Iraqi government sanctioned the smuggling.