This past Sunday, another cargo ship was attacked by Iranian-linked rebels, this time in the Red Sea. Using helicopters, Houthi rebels from Yemen seized a cargo ship, named The Galaxy Leader, that was linked to Israel. The attack happened in the Red Sea. It was the latest in a string of attacks on cargo ships and threats against cargo ships, in the Middle East region.
After Houthi rebels attacked the cargo ship, they then boarded it and took as many as all 25 crew members hostage. With this attack, the Israel-Hamas conflict threatens to spillover into a new arena: the Red Sea, a crucial body of water in the Middle East.
The Houthis are quoted as saying: “All ships belonging to the Israeli enemy or that deal with it will become legitimate targets.” So, there is the potential for further disruption to other Israeli-affiliated cargo vessels in the region. The rebel group has promised as much in its latest policy position to target Israeli or Israeli-affiliated vessels.
The attack is just the latest in a line of incidents involving cargo ships in the region.
Over the past year, multiple vessels have either come under attack or have been threatened with attacks from various groups in the region. Many of the attackers have ties to Iran. Most of those incidents have occurred in the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial waterway that is important for oil transport for the global economy. In many of the incidents, the Iranian government claimed the ships were in its territory (the Strait of Hormuz is disputed as belonging to countries or being international waters.)
Iran has denied any role in the latest attack, but its Revolutionary Guard has been involved in other incidents this year.