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Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Reportedly Seizes Israeli-Linked Container Ship Near Strait of Hormuz

Israeli-Linked Container Ship (Credits: NPR)

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard conducted an operation by rappelling down from a helicopter onto a containership linked to Israel near the Strait of Hormuz, seizing the vessel on Saturday, according to confirmed reports.

The cargo ship was seized around noon local time on Saturday by members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as reported by Tasnim News Agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (Credits: Britannica)

The seized vessel is believed to be the MSC Aries, a container ship associated with Zodiac Maritime, a company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. Zodiac Maritime has not commented on the incident, redirecting inquiries to MSC, which has not responded yet.

An anonymous Middle East defense official shared a video showing IRGC commandos rappelling from a helicopter onto the ship’s containers. The crew members were instructed to remain on the ship’s bridge.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations reported the incident and stated that British military officials are investigating. Vessels in the area have been advised to proceed cautiously and report any suspicious activity.

Strait of Hormuz (Credits: World Atlas)

The MSC Aries, last located in Dubai and heading towards the Strait of Hormuz, had turned off its location data, a common practice for Israeli ships in the region.

This incident occurred despite heightened tensions between Israel and Iran, with concerns over a potential retaliatory attack from Iran following an earlier attack on its embassy in Syria. U.S. officials have warned of the possibility of a retaliatory strike, leading to increased military readiness and travel advisories in the region.

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