Standing up to Western pressure, Russia sends weapons ship to Syria

Moscow defied Western pressure over Syria Thursday, announcing that a cargo  ship would deliver weapons to the government of President Bashar Assad under the  Russian national flag despite being forced to abandon its voyage when Britain  withdrew insurance coverage.

The MV Alaed turned around in the North Sea, about 80 km from the Scottish  coast, after its London-based insurer with-drew third-party liability cover.  British authorities forced the move, suspecting that the ship was taking arms to  Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed Thursday that the ship was carrying  three MI-25 attack helicopters, reconditioned under a contract with Syria’s  armed forces, and an air defence system.

But the vessel, now bound for the port of Murmansk, will be re-flagged under  Russian colours and then sent to Syria to complete the delivery.

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