Syria: U.S. Preventing Ships From Docking
An article in a Damascus newspaper charged the United States with preventing merchant ships from entering Syrian ports.
Last week, Syria’s Foreign Ministry protested what it called the “sniping” operation carried out by ships of the Sixth American fleets against two Syrian trade ships transporting citrus products from the Turkish port of Marseen.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has asked the American Embassy for a clarification of the action, which it termed a violation of international law.
For its part, the U.S Navy said in a statement that “U.S. Sixth Fleet, while operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, conducted simultaneous compliant boardings of two merchant vessels.”
Merchant vessel Capten Mohammed was intercepted and boarded by USS Ramage approximately 26 nautical miles northeast of Cyprus. Merchant vessel Hajji Rahmeh was intercepted by USS Ross, USS Hayler and USS La Salle approximately 75 nautical miles northwest of Cyprus. Both of the merchant vessels were operating under Syrian registration,” the statement said.
“The inspections of the cargo, manifest and registration on these vessels revealed no significant discrepancies and there was no contraband discovered. The Masters and crews were compliant and cooperative throughout the inspections and were permitted to proceed after the boarding teams disembarked,” it added. (Albawaba.com)