Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for seizing a Bahamas-flagged vessel linked to Israel last week. The seizure in the Red Sea represents a further escalation in the simmering conflict between Israel and Yemen’s Houthi movement.
The rebels issued video footage of seizing the Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea. The taking of the vessel and its 25 crew members was celebrated by the Iran-backed rebels.
Footage of Houthi forces hijacking the ship Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea yesterday. pic.twitter.com/PSFLpV4FLA
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) November 20, 2023
“All ships belonging to the Israeli enemy or that deal with it will become legitimate targets,” said a statement from the rebel group.
The ship’s operating company is linked to an Israeli businessman.
A Houthi official further said that Israel only understands “the language of force.”
“The detention of the Israeli ship is a practical step that proves the seriousness of the Yemeni armed forces in waging the sea battle, regardless of its costs and costs,” the official said. “This is the beginning.”
The taking of the ship was condemned by Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu linked the attack with the Iranian regime. The Israeli military said that the seizure was a “very grave incident of global consequence.”
Following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, the Houthi rebels have attempted several times to strike Israel. The United States Navy shot down several missiles and drones launched from Yemen toward Israel.
Furthermore, the Houthi movement declared that a state of war existed between themselves and Israel.
The conflict between Israel and the Houthi rebels represents a further extension of Jerusalem’s ongoing struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran controls or supports a network of Islamist militants across the region, including those bordering Israel.
Iranian officials reportedly gave the go-ahead for the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in a meeting with the terrorist organization and their allies, the Lebanese organization Hezbollah.
Israel has warned repeatedly that there would be consequences for Iran’s support of militants across the region.
In addition, Iran-linked groups have launched more than 50 rocket and drone attacks on American forces across the Middle East, causing dozens of injuries. The United States has launched several air raids against militant positions in retaliation.