BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:20 A.M.) – The Royal Marines have stopped and boarded an oil tanker believed to be en route to the Syrian port city of Tartous, the government of Gibraltar announced this morning.
According to the government of Gibraltar, the Royal Marines detained the Grace 1, a Panamanian tanker that was allegedly carrying crude oil to the Baniyas Refinery in Syria’s Tartous Governorate.
“We have reason to believe that the ‘Grace 1’ was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria,” President of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo stated on Thursday morning.
The Baniyas Refinery is currently subject to sanctions from the United States and the European Union.
“Be assured that Gibraltar remains safe, secure and committed to the international, rules-based, legal order,” he said, thanking the police, customs, and port authorities for their involvement in detaining the ship.
According to the BBC, a team of about 20 marines was flown from the U.K. to Gibraltar in order to help seize the tanker, at the request of the Gibraltar government.
Syria has not commented on this latest claim by the government of Gibraltar.