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Filipino Seafarers Among Crew of Ship Seized by Iran, DMW Reports

In Manila, the Philippines, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced on Sunday that four Filipino seafarers were confirmed to be aboard an Israeli-affiliated container ship that was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Iranian authorities intercepted the Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries on Saturday morning near the Strait of Hormuz, a critical waterway linking the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean, amidst rising tensions in the region. “Under the president’s orders, we are in contact with the families of our seafarers and have pledged comprehensive government aid and support,” stated the DMW.

The agency stated it is collaborating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the seafarers’ manning agency, ship manager, and operator “to ensure the safety, well-being, and facilitate the release of our seafarers.”

According to Iran’s state media, the MSC Aries is “linked to the Zionist regime (Israel).”

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have conducted numerous missile and drone attacks targeting ships in the Red Sea. In March, a missile attack claimed the lives of three seafarers, including two Filipinos.

In November, the Houthis seized an Israel-affiliated cargo vessel, the Galaxy Leader. The crew, which includes 17 Filipino seafarers, remains in captivity.

The Philippines is a significant supplier of seafarers for the global maritime sector, accounting for 25% of the 1.5 million sea-based workers worldwide.

Iran carried out more than 200 drone and missile strikes on Israel in an unprecedented attack late Saturday, amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Iran had previously threatened to retaliate against Israel for a deadly April 1 air strike on its consulate in Syria.


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