The source declined to comment on Russian and Cypriot media reports that the ship Chariot, which set sail from St. Petersburg on Dec. 9, was carrying cargo from Russia’s state weapons exporter Rosoboronexport. The Cyprus newspaper Politis reported the ship was carrying 60 tonnes of ammunition.
Russia has long been a major arms supplier to Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad has been trying to crush a 10-month-old wave of unrest by lethal armed force, raising an international outcry and triggering Western and Arab sanctions against Damascus that Moscow has refused to join.
"The ship was carrying a dangerous cargo," the source at St. Petersburg-based Westberg Ltd. said by telephone on condition of anonymity. "It reached Syria on Jan. 11th," he said.