(Newsroom America) -- Britain has effectively stopped a ship carrying Russian-made attack helicopters and missiles bound for Syria off the coast of Scotland after the vessel's insurance was canceled at London's request, a report said Tuesday.
The Daily Telegraph said that British marine insurer Standard Club had withdrawn coverage from all ships owned by Femco, a Russian cargo line, including the MV Alaed.
"We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria," the company said in a statement. "We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage."
The paper said British security officials confirmed that they informed Standard Club that insuring a vessel carrying munitions to Syria would amount to a violation of European Union sanctions imposed against Damascus for the government's targeting of civilians in its crackdown on rebels opposed to President Bashar Assad's regime.
The officials said they were continuing to monitor the ship - the subject of intense international debate after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed last week it was carrying munitions for Assad's government, the paper said.
"We have various ways of keeping track of this ship and that is what we are doing," one of the security sources, who was not named, told the paper.
Reports said the vessel picked up a shipment of Mi-25 "Hind" helicopter gunships, well known for their armored skin and range of weapons, at the Russian port of Kaliningrad. They had been sent there to "Factory 150" for servicing and repairs. The helicopters were originally sold to the Syrian government at the end of the Cold War, the paper said.
U.S. officials say that Moscow is also continuing with a 2007 sale of more than 20 MiG-29 M2 fighter aircraft to Syria, though it was unclear how, with the EU sanctions in place, those aircraft would be shipped to Damascus.
Russia has also said it is preparing to send two warships to Syria, ostensibly as a way to protect Russian citizens. A spokesman for Russia's Black Sea Fleet said the move would be made "in case of necessity."
© 2012 Newsroom America.