A cargo ship believed to be carrying Russian-made attack helicopters has been thwarted in its bid to reach Syria after its insurance cover was withdrawn, according to reports.
The MV Alaed is said to have had its policy cancelled by insurers in London, effectively stopping it in its tracks off the Scottish coast.
The move prevents the boat, which is understood to have stopped off the coast of the Outer Hebrides, from sailing until its owner can secure fresh cover.
Marine insurers the Standard Club told the Daily Telegraph in a statement: "We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria.
"We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage."
The insurers are also said to have withdrawn cover for several other ships owned by Femco, a Russian shipping company.
Foreign Secretary William Hague recently raised the issue of Russian arms shipments to Syria with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, in a public statement last week, also raised concerns about a shipment of Russian helicopters, saying they had the potential to escalate the conflict in Syria. Russia rejected the accusations that it was supplying armed helicopters to the country.
Mr Hague later referred to the ship during Commons questions. Conservative Mark Menzies, MP for Fylde, asked: "Can you assure the House that every peaceful diplomatic effort is being made to prevent the Syrian government from getting its hands on weapons that can be used against its own people."
Mr Hague replied: "Yes I can, we have in place a European Union arms embargo on Syria, we discourage anyone else from supplying arms to Syria. We've had discussions with Russia about that specifically and I'm pleased that the ship that was reported to be carrying arms to Syria has now turned back apparently towards Russia."