The Iranian-backed rebels said it hijacked the Bahamas-flagged car carrier Galaxy Leader, which is owned by Ray Car Carriers, over its connection to Israel, and they took the 25-person crew hostage. The vessel is operated by a Japanese firm but has ties to Israeli businessman Abraham Ungar.
The video begins with an aerial view from a helicopter that approaches the vessel until Yemeni forces jump out and proceed to move across the top deck of the ship until they reach the control area and come face-to-face with crew members.
“If any further proof were needed that Iran’s network of terrorism and chaos is threatening the world, now comes the news that another Iranian proxy force, the Houthi militia of Yemen, has seized a merchant ship in international waters,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog posted on X, formerly Twitter. “Armed pirates hijacked the vessel ‘Galaxy Leader,’ en route to India from Turkey through the Red Sea, in broad daylight. They announced their intent ahead of time and publicized footage glorifying the attack while the international community watched and did nothing.”
The Houthis warned on Monday that Israeli ships were a “legitimate target.”
“Israeli ships are legitimate targets for us anywhere … and we will not hesitate to take action,” Maj. Gen. Ali al Moshki, a Houthi military official, told the group’s Al-Masirah TV station, while Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam said Sunday that this was “only the beginning.”
U.S. Navy carriers in the Middle East have intercepted missiles or drones from Yemen believed to be heading toward Israel or posing a threat to the U.S. forces themselves twice in the last month. The USS Carney intercepted three cruise missiles and several drones in an incident last month, while last week, the USS Thomas Hudner shot down a drone that was flying toward it at the time.
The Houthis also shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Red Sea earlier this month.