Iran Guards Seize Container Ship Near Strait Of Hormuz


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AP

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Commandos from Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard rappelled down from a helicopter onto an Israeli-affiliated container ship near the Strait of Hormuz and seized the vessel Saturday, the latest in a series of attacks
between the two countries.

The Middle East had braced for potential Iranian retaliation over a suspected Israeli strike earlier this month on an Iranian consular building in Syria that killed 12 people, including a senior Guard general who once commanded its expeditionary Quds Force.

The wider Israeli war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip is now 6 months old and is inflaming decades-old tensions across the whole region.

Iran's state-run IRNA said a special forces unit of the Guard's navy carried out the attack on the vessel, which other media in the country widely identified as the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, a container ship associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime.

Zodiac Maritime is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Group. Zodiac declined to comment and referred questions to MSC, which did not immediately respond.

The British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations described the vessel as being "seized by regional authorities” in the Gulf of Oman off the Emirati port city of Fujairah, without elaborating.

The MSC Aries had been last located off Dubai heading toward the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. The ship had turned off its tracking data, which has been common for Israeli-affiliated ships moving through the region.

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The Peninsula

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