VIDEO: Six ready-to-launch C-704 missiles, two missile launchers, computerized command and control equipment and two external radar systems were discovered on the cargo ship ‘Victoria’.
The IDF Navy uncovered weaponry on-board the cargo ship “Victoria” on March 14, 2011. Weaponry intended for the use of terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip was aboard the ship that had come from Lattakia, Syria and made a quick stop in Turkey before its final destination to Egypt. According to assessments, the weapons were intended to be smuggled through Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Turkey and Egypt are not believed to be involved with the weapons smuggling.
The weaponry discovered on the vessel included thousands of mortar shells, ammunition, and six anti-ship missiles which may have significantly shifted the regional balance of powers in favor of the terror organizations. These missiles could have been used to threaten Israeli Navy ships, civilian ships, and gas reserves off the coast of Israel.
In addition, Iranian documents found along with the weaponry including a missile identification manual written in Persian containing emblems of the Iranian government, point to the involvement and cooperation between Iran and Syria to further arm terrorist organizations.
Latakia (Lattakia or Latakiyah) is the principal port city of Syria, as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate. In addition to serving as a port, the city is a manufacturing center for surrounding agricultural towns and villages. Its population in 2009 was 650,558 and consisted of Sunnis, Alawites and Greek Orthodox Christians.
In 1973, during the October War (Yom Kippur War), the naval Battle of Latakia between Israel and Syria was fought just offshore from Latakia, and was the first to be fought using missiles and ECM (electronic countermeasures).