Newly released footage shows an Iran-backed militia hijacking a cargo ship in the Red Sea on Sunday.
The Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group backed by Iran, hijacked the cargo ship Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea and took dozens of crew members hostage on Sunday. seconds in Iran International. A spokesman for the Houthis announced a video Monday of the kidnapping operation.
The footage shows a helicopter approaching the cargo ship and dropping off a squadron of Houthi rebels. According to the video, the operatives infiltrate the ship’s bridge and take crew members hostage before scouring the rest of the ship in search of other crew members.
Scenes of the unique military operation of the naval forces, during which the Israeli ship was seized yesterday in the Red Sea. pic.twitter.com/7dGNtbcMos
– Brigadier General Yahya Saree (@army21ye) November 20, 2023
After seizing the rest of the Galaxy Leader and detaining more than two dozen crew members, the Houthis began sailing back to a Yemeni port, guided by smaller attack ships and a helicopter, according to the footage and Iran International.
The Houthis apparently hijacked the ship because they believed it was operated by Israelis, according to one description of the Houthi spokesman’s operation. The Houthis warned on Sunday that all Israeli-operated ships in the Red Sea or the Bab el-Mandeb Strait would be targeted, Iran International reported.
There were no Israelis on board at the time of the hijacking and the ship is not owned or operated by Israel, seconds in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. The ship is British-owned and operated by a Japanese company at the time, the office said.
Netanyahu blamed Iran for Sunday’s attacks.
“This is yet another act of Iranian terrorism and constitutes a leap forward in Iran’s aggression against citizens of the free world, with international consequences for the security of global sea lanes,” said Sunday Netanyahu’s office at X, formerly Twitter.
Iran has denied involvement in the kidnapping operation, seconds in Iran International.
The Japanese government said it “strongly condemns” the hijacking and is “directly approaching” the Houthis to demand the ship’s release, according to Iran International.
“We also urge Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and other interested countries to strongly urge the Houthis for the early release of the ship and crew members,” Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoko said on Monday Kamikawa, according to Iran International.
The Houthis are one of the many Iranian-backed militias that have existed launch attacks against Israel and US forces in the Middle East.
The Houthis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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