Iran seizes Israel-linked ship in Arabian Gulf

Iran seizes Israel-linked ship in Arabian Gulf
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News Desk

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ navy have seized a cargo ship “affiliated” with Israel in the Arabian Gulf, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday, report agencies.

A video seen by The Associated Press shows commandos raiding the alleged ship near the Strait of Hormuz by helicopter.

In it, the commandos rappelled down onto a stack of containers sitting on the deck of the vessel.

A crew member on the ship could be heard saying: “Don’t come out.” The crew mate then tells his colleagues to go to the ship’s bridge as more commandos come down on the deck. One commando can be seen kneeling above the others to provide them potential cover fire.

Though the AP could not immediately verify the video, it corresponded to known details of the boarding and the helicopter involved appeared to be one used by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which has carried out other ship raids in the past.

The vessel involved is likely the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, a container ship associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime. Zodiac Maritime is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group. Neither MSC nor Zodiac immediately responded to a request for comment.

The MSC Aries had been last located off Dubai heading toward the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. The ship had turned off its tracking data, which has been common for Israeli-affiliated ships moving through the region.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West, particularly after a suspected Israeli strike on the Iranian Consulate in Syria.

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