Shayetet 13, the Israeli answer to the US Navy SEALs, executed a ship seizure operation off the coast of Sudan yesterday. The ship was carrying Syrian made rockets that were en route from Iran to the Gaza strip. These are the type of rockets that would be used if we saw a repeat of the 2006 offensive against Israel. I had the opportunity to meet a S13 veteran about two years ago in New York City. He was a cocky little guy who gave a friend of mine (a former US Navy SEAL) a t-shirt that said, “Don’t worry America, we got your back!” I always recognize SOF guys, doesn’t matter what country they come from! -Jack
By ARON HELLER
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli naval forces raided a ship in the Red Sea early Wednesday and seized dozens of advanced rockets from Iran destined for Palestinian militants in Gaza that would have significantly boosted their ability to strike Israeli citizens, the military said.
The ship, the KLOS C, was carrying Syrian-made M-302 rockets and was intercepted more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) south of Israel off the coasts of Sudan and Eritrea, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told reporters.
He said the M-302 rockets have a range of up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) and would have significantly improved the capabilities of Gaza militants, putting nearly all of Israel in their range. Previously, Gaza militants have only been able to reach about 50 miles (80 kilometers) into Israel with their homegrown M-75 missiles. The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah used M-302s in a 2006 war against Israel, the military said.
There was no immediate comment from Iran or Gaza’s Hamas rulers about the Israeli claims.
The operation, codenamed “Full Disclosure,” followed months of intelligence gathering. Lerner said the shipment originated in Syria. From there the weapons were flown to Iran and departed from the Bandar Abbas port. Lerner said the Iranians tried to “obscure their tracks” by shipping first via Iraq and then out to sea. The shipment was destined for Sudan, from where it was to be moved overland through Egypt to Gaza, the army said. Israel says militants have used similar routes in the past.