A Yemeni official has stressed that the recent seizure of an Israeli ship in the Red Sea is just the start of a series of retaliatory naval operations in response to Israel’s brutal aggression in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Hezam al-Assad, a member of the political bureau of the Ansarullah resistance movement, told al-Araby al-Jadeed podcast that the seizure of the Israeli ship by the Yemeni forces on Sunday “is just the beginning of upcoming naval operations that will target Israel’s naval vessels, battleships, or commercial ships.”
His remarks came as the Yemeni armed forces announced the seizure of an Israeli ship in the Red Sea and the detention of dozens of its crew members on Sunday.
Israeli media confirmed the regime’s ownership of the confiscated ship. The vessel goes by the name of ‘Galaxy Leader.’
Al-Assad stressed that Yemen’s involvement in the war in Gaza is “a pure Yemeni decision”, noting that some coordination is taking place with the axis of resistance.
The official stressed that “our naval forces are on a high alert and are monitoring the sea”, adding “each Israeli vessel, whether military or commercial, will be targeted as long as the people of Gaza are being bombed.”
He further announced that camps are being established in several parts of the country where volunteers who are interested in fighting as part of Operation al-Aqsa Storm will receive training.
“We are ready to build a Yemeni army dedicated to participating in the defense of the people of Gaza. If the countries that have borders with Palestine allow us access, they will find thousands of people flocking to them.”
Al-Assad’s remarks echoed that of the Yemeni information minister in the National Salvation Government.
Deifullah al-Shami said on Sunday that all the Israeli ships at the Red Sea “would be legitimate targets” for the Yemeni armed forces.
Al-Shami stressed that Sana’a has “information on all Israeli ships that pass through the Red Sea.”
Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam also said that Israel must stop its aggression on Gaza so the conflict does not spill over to other areas in the region.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, called on all countries to withdraw their citizens working as crews on any ships owned or operated by Israeli companies or carrying the Israeli flag.
In a televised speech broadcast live on November 14, the leader of Ansarullah called on Arab countries and the Muslim world to adopt a clear stance in the face of Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.
He said the Yemeni forces are keeping a watchful eye on any Israeli ship in the Red Sea, and in the Bab el-Mandab Strait in particular, as well as Yemeni territorial waters.
Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements waged the surprise Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.
The Israeli aggression has so far killed more than 13,300 Palestinians, most of them women and children.