U.S. defense officials
say a Navy vessel that is part of the new piracy task force intercepted and
searched an Iranian-owned ship that officials feared was carrying arms to
Hamas. It's unclear whether those suspicions were founded.
Two defense officials say the
Cypriot-flagged commercial vessel was tracked by a U.S. Navy ship in the Red
Sea. One official says it was boarded with the consent of the vessel's crew
The search turned up ammunition that
included artillery shells. But one official said that since Hamas is not
known to use artillery, officials are now uncertain who the intended
recipient was. They're asking Egypt to do another search when the ship
arrives in port.
The task force was unable to
confiscate the arms, despite the violation of a U.N. Security Council
resolution that prohibits Iran from selling arms, because there is no
enforcement mechanism in place.
The officials said the shipment is
believed to be on its way to Syria and there is little the international
community can do to stop it.
- FOX News