WATCH: Yemen's Houthis release video of armed men seizing 'Israeli-linked ship' in Red Sea

WATCH: Yemen's Houthis release video of armed men seizing 'Israeli-linked ship' in Red Sea

Nov 21, 2023 - 02:30
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WATCH: Yemen's Houthis release video of armed men seizing 'Israeli-linked ship' in Red Sea

Yemen’s Houthi rebels released a video footage on Monday showing armed individuals dropping from a helicopter and taking control of a cargo ship in the southern Red Sea.

The footage, shared by the Houthi movement’s TV channel Al Masirah, came a day after the Iran-backed group seized the ship, claiming it was associated with Israel. In contrast, Israel asserts that the captured vessel is British-owned and Japanese-operated.

The Houthi rebels seized the cargo ship in a crucial Red Sea shipping route on Sunday, holding its 25 crew members hostage.

The rebels, backed by Iran, stated that the hijacking was motivated by the ship’s alleged ties to Israel. They declared their intention to target ships connected to or owned by Israelis in international waters until the conclusion of Israel’s campaign against Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

The Houthis issued a statement, asserting, “All ships belonging to the Israeli enemy or that deal with it will become legitimate targets.”

Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the chief negotiator and spokesperson for the Houthis, emphasised in an online statement that the Israelis comprehend only “the language of force.” He characterised the ship’s detention as a practical step signifying the Yemeni armed forces’ commitment to maritime conflict, reported AP.

Meanwhile, Iran has denied Israeli allegations regarding its involvement in the seizure of the cargo ship by Yemen’s Houthis.

Nasser Kanaani, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, stated at a press conference on Monday that resistance groups in the region operate independently and that Israeli claims are an attempt to divert attention from what Kanaani referred to as Israel’s “irreparable defeat” against Hamas militants in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office attributed the attack on the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader, a vehicle carrier linked to an Israeli billionaire, to the Houthis.

Netanyahu’s office clarified that no Israelis were aboard the vessel.

The ship’s Japanese operator, NYK Line, confirmed that the vessel had no cargo when hijacked, and its crew hails from the Philippines, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and Mexico.

With inputs from agencies

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