While cruising in the Red Sea, the ship Galaxy Leader was stormed by around ten Houthis. These did not come on board using boats but were indeed placed directly on the boat by a medium transport helicopter. The ship was hijacked and is now under the control of Houthi rebels.
On November 19, Houthi rebels claimed to have captured the cargo ship Galaxy Leader while it was in the Red Sea. Many then thought of a maritime assault, using ships or boats, as is the case for pirates cruising off the coast of Somalia. However, a video released by the Houthi movement clearly demonstrates that the assault came from the air.
The beginning of the video is filmed from a ship with what appears to be the Galaxy Leader in the distance. Next, the video is filmed directly from the tail of a Mi-17 medium transport helicopter. It is armed with two rocket launchers and the rear door of the helicopter is decorated with two flags: above, the flag of Yemen and below, the Palestinian flag. The helicopter lands on one of the roofs located in the center of the ship and places an assault group there composed of around ten personnel armed with Ak-47 type weapons. The helicopter then takes off again.
The remainder of the video shows the capture of the ship’s bridge, a plaque marking “Galaxy Leader” (definitively confirming the identity of the ship) and the empty holds of the building. The last part shows the Galaxy Leader at reduced speed, surrounded by at least seven small Houthi boats. At the end of the video, two flags were raised shortly after the capture of the ship: the one on the left is Palestinian, the one on the right is Yemeni.