David Usborne
independent.co.uk
June 21, 2012

Britain came alarmingly close to a dangerous clash with Moscow when David Cameron was asked to consider giving an order to forcibly board a ship headed towards the English Channel carrying three Russian-made helicopters for delivery to the regime in Syria, it emerged today.

Any seizure would have been carried out by members of the Special Boat Service, SBS, the only military unit authorised to performing opposed embarkations at sea. The helicopters are believed to be the same ones that prompted US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, recently to berate Russia for sending military hardware to Syria.

Officials traveling with the Prime Minister on an official visit to Mexico City yesterday gave the first detailed account of a series of high-level meetings that happened at Whitehall at the end of last week as the authorities tracked the ship, the MV Alead, which was steaming southwards through the North Sea after departing from Leningrad port.

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