The Middle East region recently witnessed a new escalation, where the Houthi group announced, yesterday, Sunday, the arrest of an “Israeli cargo ship” in the southern Red Sea and taking it to a port on the western coast of Yemen.
The group’s statement did not reveal the current location of the Galaxy Leader ship, but Agence France-Presse said the Houthis had transported it to the port of Saleef in Hodeidah.
Two military experts foresee the scenarios that may occur after the incident. While one military expert warned of the consequences of the seizure of the cargo ship, which may push the international community to form a sort of alliance to protect navigation, as happened in Somalia, the other predicted , that the issue will not develop and that it will be quickly contained through diplomatic channels. Between Iran and America.
Earlier, Israel said the group seized a ship in the Red Sea, but it “was not owned by Israelis and its crew was not Israeli,” and it was flying a Bahamian flag.
The Israeli army stated that the ship “is leaving Turkey on its way to India, and its crew members are civilians of different nationalities, and none of them are Israelis. It is not an Israeli ship.”
He considered that “the seizure of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very important event with global consequences.”
A military analyst, Colonel Ahmed Hamada, said in exclusive statements to Sky News Arabia that the Houthi group is one of Iran’s arms in the region, and wants to export the ship seizure as a victory, but supporting the Palestinian cause is not through actions that violates international law and threatens navigation, and he adds:
The Iranian alliance, which talked about the unity of the squares and the liberation of Jerusalem, found itself in trouble, and had no choice but to maintain its populist rhetoric but to carry out some controlled actions against Israel by launching some missiles and drones.
The seizure of a merchant ship by the Houthi group does not serve the Palestinian cause. Rather, this step may contribute to complicating the scene, because international reactions regarding the Houthi group as “pirates” will tend to protect the passages, and may try to control Bab. al-Mandab, and that damages the region.
Iran fights with its weapons to reap the results and trade them to its advantage, and there are threats to the Houthis and Hezbollah of Israel for their military actions against Israel.
I don’t expect the US to intervene directly, but there may be a quasi-alliance to protect navigation, as happened before in Somalia, and it is likely that US and Israeli defenses will be strengthened and ships deployed.
The US does not want an open war, as Iranian militias spread and attack US bases, and US President Joe Biden is in a crucial year and is on the brink of elections.
For his part, military analyst, Malik Al-Kurdi, in exclusive statements to Sky News Arabia, expects that the situation will be quickly contained through the diplomatic channels of Israel and the United States with Iran, and to end the matter with the conclusion of the investigation carried out by the Houthi naval force, and find justification for it. He says:
Everyone knows that the Houthi group is one of the arms of Iran in the region and that it moves under its inspiration, and in the Red Sea, in which there are several naval ships of the United States and other countries that border the sea, not it is easy for any party to attack a ship of any other country, and I think that this operation comes in the framework of… Review plays.
In any case, the issue will not develop into the seizure of ships and tanker war in the Red Sea or the Sea of Aden, because the region is closely controlled by multinational naval forces, and the focus during this period will be on monitoring the movements of Houthi military and civilian ships.
It is unlikely that there will be a direct response of deterrence, which would lead to tension in the region, which the United States is avoiding, at a time when it is focusing its efforts on the Hamas movement, and suffering from global and growing popularity. rejection of its policy of support for Israel.
The Houthi spokesman in Yemen, Yahya Saree, said on Sunday that the group is targeting all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or that fly the Israeli flag.
Through the group’s Telegram channel, Saree called on all countries of the world to withdraw their citizens working on the crews of these ships and avoid shipping on these ships or dealing with them.
The leader of the Houthis in Yemen, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, previously said that his forces will continue the attack against Israel, and may target Israeli ships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait.
Since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, and the subsequent continuous Israeli bombing of Gaza, the Houthis have announced the implementation of a series of missile and drone operations on southern Israel, in their first involvement in a regional war, but Tel Aviv has often confirmed that it caught those projectiles. .
In a statement issued by his media office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “strongly condemned the Iranian attack on an international ship,” accusing the Houthis of hijacking “the ship owned by a British company and managed by a Japanese company, based on Iranian instructions.”
Netanyahu explained that “there were 25 crew members on the ship of different nationalities, including Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Filipinos, and Mexicans,” emphasizing that “there were no Israelis on board.”