Watch: Yemen’s Houthi militia hijack India-bound cargo ship amid Israel-Hamas war

| Updated: 21 November, 2023 2:37 pm IST

Yemen’s Houthi militia has seized control of the cargo ship “Galaxy Leader” in the Red Sea. The vessel, en route to India from Turkey with 25 crew members on board, was hijacked by Houthi forces who descended from a military helicopter, as shown in a video released by the group.

The Houthi militia issued a stern warning, declaring all ships associated with Israel or engaging with it as legitimate targets. This move comes as a response to the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, with the Houthis demanding an end to what they perceive as Israeli aggression against Palestine.

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The authenticity of the video was verified by The New York Times, revealing at least 10 armed men taking control of the ship’s bridge after leaping from a military helicopter. The footage, captured mainly from cameras attached to the men’s heads, documents the seizure and showcases small boats, known to be used by Houthi rebels, moving around and alongside the hijacked vessel. The flags of Yemen and Palestine fly on the Galaxy Leader.

While the current location of the Galaxy Leader remains unknown since its last signal in the Red Sea, the video provides clues about the time and place of the hijacking.

The Houthi militia, identified as Zaydi Shiites, was once the ruling force in Yemen until the 1962 civil war led to their sidelining. In 2014, they gained prominence by opposing Yemen’s Sunni-majority government and have since maintained control over northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

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Their long-standing slogan reflects their ideology: “God is the greatest; death to America; death to Israel; curse the Jews; victory to Islam.” The Houthi actions in the Red Sea add a new dimension to the already complex and volatile situation in the region.

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