The group's statement did not disclose the location of the Galaxy Leader at the moment, but AFP said the Houthis had taken it to the port of Saleef in Hodeidah.

Possible scenarios

Two military experts expect scenarios that may take place after the incident, while a military expert warned of the repercussions of the hijacking of the cargo ship, which may prompt the international community to form a quasi-alliance to protect navigation, as happened in Somalia, the other expected that the matter would not develop and that the matter would not be quickly contained through diplomatic channels between Iran and America.

Earlier, Israel said the group had detained a ship in the Red Sea, but that it was "not owned by Israelis and its crew did not include Israelis," and was flying the flag of the Bahamas.

The Israeli military said the ship "left Turkey en route to India, and its crew members are civilians of different nationalities, not including Israelis. It's not an Israeli ship."

"The hijacking of a cargo ship by the Houthis near Yemen in the southern Red Sea is a very serious incident with global consequences," he said.

Corridor protection

The military analyst, Colonel Ahmed Hamadeh, 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 hijacking of the ship as a victory, but supporting the Palestinian cause is not acts contrary to international law and threatening navigation, and adds:

  • The Iranian alliance, which talked about the unity of squares and the liberation of Jerusalem, found itself in trouble, and to maintain its populist rhetoric, it had no choice but to carry out some controlled actions against Israel by striking some rockets and drones.
  • The Houthi group's seizure of a commercial ship does not serve the Palestinian cause, but this step may contribute to complicating the scene, because international reactions to the Houthi group as "pirates" will tend to protect the corridors, and may seek to control the Bab al-Mandab, and this harms the region.
  • Iran is fighting with its arms to reap results and trade them for its benefit, and there are threats to the Houthis and Hezbollah by Israel for their military actions against Israel.
  • I don't expect the United States to intervene directly, but there may be a quasi-alliance to protect navigation, as happened in Somalia before, and U.S. and Israeli defenses are likely to be strengthened and ships deployed.
  • The United States does not want an open war, Iranian militias are deployed and striking American bases, and US President Joe Biden is in a crucial year and on the verge of elections.

Fast Containment

For his part, military analyst, Malik al-Kurdi, expects in exclusive statements to Sky News Arabia, to contain the situation quickly through the diplomatic channels of Israel and the United States with Iran, and to end the matter with the end of the investigation conducted by the Houthi naval force, and find a justification for that, and says:

  • It is known to all that the Houthi group is one of Iran's arms in the region, which moves inspired by it, and the Red Sea, which has several naval vessels of the United States and other countries on the shore of the sea, it is not easy for any party to attack a ship for any other country, and I think that this operation comes within the framework of parade plays.
  • In any case, the matter will not develop into the hijacking of ships and tanker warfare in the Red Sea or in the Sea of Aden, because the area is closely monitored by multinational naval forces, and the focus during this period will be on monitoring the movements of Houthi military and civilian ships.
  • There is unlikely to be a direct response to deterrence that leads to tension in the region, which the United States avoids, at a time when its efforts are focused on Hamas and suffer from a growing global popular rejection of its pro-Israel policy.

Houthi threats

Yemen's Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree said Sunday that the group was targeting all ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or flying the Israeli flag.

Saree, through the group's Telegram channel, called on all countries of the world to withdraw their citizens working as part of the crews of these ships and avoid shipping on board these ships or dealing with them.

Yemen's Houthi leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, has previously said his forces will continue to attack Israel, potentially targeting Israeli ships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Since Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7, and the subsequent continuous Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the Houthis have announced a series of rocket and drone operations on southern Israel, in their first involvement in a regional war, but Tel Aviv has often confirmed that it intercepted these projectiles.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement issued by his media office, "strongly condemned the Iranian attack on an international ship," accusing the Houthis of hijacking "the ship owned by a British company and operated by a Japanese company, on Iranian instructions."

Netanyahu explained that "on board the ship 25 crew members of different nationalities, including Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Filipinos and Mexicans," stressing that "there were no Israelis on board."