Iran-Israel Tension: Israeli Linked Ship Attacked Near Strait Of Hormuz

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Tel Aviv: A video from the Associated Press (AP) shows commandoes raiding a ship near the Strait Of Hormuz by a helicopter on Saturday. This attack as per a Mideast defense official was attributed to Iran amid wider tensions between Tehran and the West.

The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations first reported the attack, which was caught on camera. Regarding the boarding in the Gulf of Oman outside the port city of Fujairah, the Emirati government had provided no information. The footage was supplied to the AP by the defence official, who discussed intelligence concerns while speaking on condition of anonymity. Within, the commandos descended upon a pile of containers arranged on the ship’s deck.

Something about a ship crew member saying, “Don’t come out,” was overheard. The crew mate then gives the order for his fellows to proceed to the ship’s bridge as more commandos drop onto the deck. One of the commandos is seen bending over the others, perhaps to provide cover fire.

The footage looked to match the known circumstances of the boarding, though AP was unable to quickly verify it. Additionally, the helicopter seemed to belong to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary group that has conducted previous ship attacks. The Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, a container ship owned by London-based Zodiac Maritime, is most likely the vessel in question. Zodiac Maritime is a division of Zodiac Group, owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. A request for comment was not immediately answered by MSC or Zodiac.

The MSC Aries was last seen on Friday, sailing into the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Dubai. The ship had disabled its tracking system, which has been typical of ships with Israeli ties passing through the area. Given the apparent Israeli strike on the Iranian Consulate in Syria, tensions between the West and Iran are at an all-time high at the moment the Israeli ship was attacked.

Iran did not immediately announce that it had taken any ships into custody, and the event was not covered by state media. However, amid continued tensions with the West over its quickly progressing nuclear program, Iran has engaged in a series of ship seizures and attacks on vessels since 2019.

The Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf’s tiny opening through which a fifth of the world’s oil travels, is close to the Gulf of Oman. The primary port in the area for ships to pick up supplies, exchange off crew, or take on fresh oil cargo is Fujairah, which is located on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates. The waters surrounding Fujairah have experienced numerous explosions and hijackings since 2019. The U.S. Navy accused Iran of carrying out attacks on tankers that resulted in damage from limpet mines.

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