Yemen’s Houthis reportedly captured a cargo ship which was traveling from Turkey to India in the southern Red Sea on Sunday, according to the Israeli military, which described the event as “a very grave incident on a global level.”
The military further stated in a social media post that the unnamed vessel was not owned by Israel and that there were no Israelis among the 22 staff members.
The ship, flying the Bahamas flag, was traveling from a port in Turkey for India.
The Houthis, who are supported by Iran, had previously announced on their Telegram channel that they would strike any ship that was owned, run, or flying the Israeli flag, as stated by Yahya Sarea, a spokesperson for the organization.
A Houthi-linked news network stated that the Houthis “will target all types of ships that carry the flag of the Zionist entity or are operated by or owned by Israeli companies, calling on all countries of the world to withdraw their citizens working on the crews of the enemy entity’s ships, and to avoid shipping on them.”
This would transform the hijacking from a typical wartime cargo halt to illicit piracy.