Yemen rebels hijacked cargo ship with AK-47s and selfie sticks

Iranian-backed rebels armed with selfie sticks and AK-47s filmed their capture of an Israeli-linked cargo ship in the Red Sea.

Bodycam footage released on Monday showed a helicopter emblazoned with Yemen and Palestinian flags swooping in low over the vessel.

Footage from inside the aircraft shows heavily-armed Houthi militants pouring out onto the ship’s deck before the helicopter takes off.

The masked men, wearing military grade body armour and equipped with assault weapons, move in formation to the bridge.

The vessel’s crew were rounded up, and forced to the floor with their hands above their heads, as the armed militants seize control of the vessel.

Western intelligence sources have said the hijacking was likely to have been ordered by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The order was said to have been handed down by Brigadier General Abdolreza Shahlaei, a veteran commander who has spent the last decade leading the main Iranian unit supplying Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The ship was the Bahamian-flagged Galaxy Leader, a 620ft car carrier with a crew of 25.

Start of ‘battle at sea’

When the Houthi militants hijacked the vessel off Yemen’s Red Sea coast on Sunday, they claimed it was an Israeli ship.

It later emerged that the vessel is only part-owned by an Israeli businessman, Abraham “Rami” Ungar, and was leased to a Japanese firm, with no Israeli crew onboard.

A Houthi spokesman said the hijacking was the start of a “battle at sea” in retaliation for Israel’s war against Hamas.

The slick footage of the seizure was professionally edited before being released to the public.

It follows a trend of terrorists and militaries recording videos from their endeavours on the battlefield using professional body cams as part of a wider communications strategy.

The Hamas terrorists that took part in the Oct 7 massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis filmed much of their grotesque attack on the kibbutz communities in the south of the country.

Since the attack, professional footage taken from the battlefield in Gaza has made up a key part of Israel’s communications strategy to demonstrate its fight against Hamas to the outside world.

Videos shot from drones and body cam have also been utilised by Ukrainian and Russian forces to laud their military successes on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.