Screenshot of Ansar Allah (Houthi) Movement video showing takeover of Israeli-owned commercial vessel in the Red Sea
The Yemeni militia effectively opened a second front against Israel last month amid Tel Aviv’s ongoing military operation against their “Palestinian brothers” in Gaza, conducting a series of attempted drone and missile strikes on Israeli targets 2,000 km away. Over the weekend, the militia upped the ante by seizing a suspected Israeli-owned ship.Yemen’s Ansar Allah (Houthi) Movement has released dramatic footage showing militiamen aboard a helicopter chasing down, boarding and seizing the Galaxy Leader Ro-Ro car carrying commercial vessel in the Red Sea.
The nearly four-minute video shows a helicopter with large Yemeni and Palestinian flags painted on its rear approaching to within a few feet of the Galaxy Leader’s deck, after which black balaclava-clad commandos armed with automatic rifles pile out and carefully advance across its deck in tactical formation.
Entering the ship’s bridge, militants scream at members of the bewildered crew, some of them seen with their hands up, to get down on the ground, and forcefully tell one of them to take to the ship’s controls.The video then cuts to shots from within the vessel’s massive belly, confirming earlier reports that the vehicle-carrier was empty when it began its journey from Turkiye to India via the Red Sea.Further footage apparently shot from a drone shows the Galaxy Leader being escorted by at least seven Houthi speedboats to shore, flying the Yemeni and Palestinian flags. More Yemeni and Palestinian flags are seen fluttering aboard the seized commercial vessel’s deck, presumably replacing the Bahamas flag the ship ordinarily sails under.The Galaxy Leader is operated by NYK, a Tokyo-headquartered giant of a shipping and logistics company, and is managed by Stamco Ship Management Company Ltd out of Piraeus, Greece. Its owner, Ray Shipping, is incorporated in the British Dependency of the Isle of Man. Ray Shipping is owned by Rami and Yael Ungar, a pair of wealthy Israeli shipping moguls whose fortune is estimated at of over $2.1 billion.WorldIsraeli or Not? What We Know About Car Carrier Hijacked by Houthis in Red Sea15:31 GMTAfter the ship’s seizure was first reported on Sunday, the Israeli military stressed that the vessel did not have Israelis onboard and suggested it was “not an Israeli ship.” Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Office called the hijacking an “Iranian attack against an international vessel,” saying that the Galaxy Leader was “owned by a British company and is operated by a Japanese firm,” again leaving out the reported Israeli connection.Iran denied having anything to do with the dramatic hijacking operation, assuring that Yemen’s Houthis had acted “autonomously,” and that to suggest otherwise marks Israel’s failure to accept that it has “been dealt a multi-dimensional defeat” in its war against Palestinian Resistance forces.The Houthis openly threatened to begin seizing Israeli-affiliated ships in the Red Sea last week, making good on that threat over the weekend with the Galaxy Leader, and promising to “continue” military operations against Tel Aviv until Israeli “aggression” against the Palestinians comes to a halt.Conflicting reports indicate that between 22 and 25 crew were on the Galaxy Leader at the time of its hijacking. Their condition remains unknown. A Houthi source told Sputnik on Sunday that if the crew members were “not Israelis, they will be treated as guests.” NYK indicated that the ship contains sailors from Bulgaria, Mexico, the Philippines, Romania and Ukraine, and that the captain and first mate are Bulgarians.WorldPolitical Scientist: Biden’s Op-ed on ‘Peace Solution’ for Gaza and Ukraine is Recipe for Disaster16:20 GMT