The Russian cargo ship MV Alaed, which is allegedly en route to Syria with helicopters and other munitions, may have to change course now that British marine insurance company Standard Club has withdrawn its coverage, according to the Telegraph.
The decision comes after British authorities told the insurer that continued coverage would be in violation of European Union sanctions against the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Still at sea, the MV Alaed is now under close observation by Western powers. The vessel became central to an international controversy last week, when U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said she was concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.
Russian news outlet RT says that the helicopters in question already belonged to Syria, having been sold by Moscow to Damascus during the Cold War, and were at the Russian port of Kaliningrad for repairs.
The shipment may now be stranded midway to its likely destination, the Syrian port of Tartous, which has a Russian naval base. According to RT, the lack of insurance would make it difficult for the ship to dock legally in ports and could force it to return the cargo to the point of origin.