Did they dock in Syria, or didn’t they? Last week, two Iranian war ships, a destroyer and a supply ship, passed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. According to Iran’s government, they docked in the Syrian port of Tartus. According to the U.S. government, they did no such thing.
More specifically, on Saturday Iran’s state-owned PressTV reported that the two Iranian vessels had docked in the Syrian port of Tartus. On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman, George Little, told the press, “We have absolutely no indication whatsoever the Iranian ships ever docked in Syrian ports.”
What’s going on here? One day there are two Iranian ships docking in Syria. Three days later, it seems that, like the Flying Dutchman, they never made port. Whatever they did during their swing through the eastern Mediterranean, they are now reported as having left the area, heading back through the Suez Canal.
These are not phantoms, or flyspecks invisible to the hi-tech eye. These are ships, substantial objects, which the U.S. certainly has the ability to track. I can’t claim to know what actually happened, and, alas, I have no inside sources here. So this is pure speculation. But it sounds as if the Iranian ships were indeed heading for Tartus, and then ran into some reason to back off — leaving the Iranian government to bluster that the ships had docked, rather than admit they’d chickened out.
Well, what happened? Read the whole thing and join the speculation.