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IRGC seizes Israel-linked container ship in Strait of Hormuz

IRGC marine forces have reportedly seized "MSC Aries" container ship in the Strait of Hormuz.

The special naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have seized Israel-linked MSC Aries container ship near the Strait of Hormuz, official news agency IRNA reports.

The ship was impounded by the Sepah Navy Special Force (SNSF) in a heliborne operation and rappelling of forces on the ship's deck, the agency said Saturday. 

"The ship has now been directed towards the territorial waters of our country," IRNA said. 

The Portuguese-flagged ship, operated by Zodiac Maritime, is owned by Israeli real estate, energy, technology and shipping magnate Eyal Ofer, it added.

Zodiac Maritime is part of the Israeli billionaire's Zodiac Group.

A video released by IRGC shows SNSF commandos rappelling down onto a stack of containers sitting on the deck of the vessel.

A crew member on the ship could be heard saying: “Don't come out." He then tells his colleagues to go to the ship's bridge as more commandos come down on the deck.

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

The incident comes amid Israel bracing for Iranian retaliation after the regime's April 1 strike on a building in the Iranian embassy compound in the Syrian capital of Damascus, which killed seven IRGC military advisors, including two generals.

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