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Biden Rushes Back to White House as Iranian Forces Seize Container Ship

Biden returns to White House after Iranian forces seize container ship

President Joe Biden abruptly ended his weekend getaway and returned to the White House on Saturday following the Iranian seizure of a container ship linked to Israel, heightening concerns about potential retaliation. The president’s decision to cut short his vacation was announced through a White House pool report, indicating his intention to convene with the national security team in anticipation of potential Iranian aggression against Israel.

Reports surfaced earlier on Saturday detailing an operation conducted by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, wherein they executed a helicopter-borne assault to seize an Israeli-affiliated container ship in the Strait of Hormuz. The IRGC forces reportedly fast-roped from a helicopter onto the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, capturing the vessel and diverting it to Iranian waters, as per the MEHR News Agency.

The UK Maritime Trade Organization confirmed the assault, specifying that it took place approximately 50 nautical miles northeast of Fujairah, UAE, in the strategic Strait of Hormuz connecting the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. The Mediterranean Shipping Company, based in Italy-Switzerland, verified that the seized vessel was indeed the Aries, with 25 crew members onboard, assuring collaboration with relevant authorities for their safety and the vessel’s return.


Biden (Credits: 1News)

The seizure of the ship occurred in the wake of a deadly Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus, which claimed the lives of 16 individuals, including seven members of the IRGC. Iran’s subsequent vow of retaliation, coupled with a US warning to Israel regarding a potential attack, heightened tensions in the region. US and Israeli defense officials anticipated various forms of Iranian aggression, including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and attack drones.

Following the ship’s seizure, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) declared heightened vigilance against potential threats, warning of consequences for further escalation by Iran. IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari emphasized Israel’s readiness to counter Iranian aggression. The White House National Security Council condemned the attack, urging Iran to release the vessel and its international crew immediately.

In response to escalating tensions, Israeli authorities implemented military measures and restrictions on public gatherings as a precautionary measure against potential attacks. The Home Front Command announced a temporary pause in educational activities and limitations on gatherings, underscoring the seriousness of the situation.

The incident in the Strait of Hormuz underscores the critical importance of the waterway, through which a significant portion of the world’s oil supply is transported annually, highlighting the broader implications of regional instability.

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