Iran ship linked to Houthi attacks goes home amid Israel tensions, report says

Behshad ends Red Sea expedition during which it allegedly provided support for Houthi rebels in attacks on shipping vessels

Iran moved its Behshad spy ship away from the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the vessel disappeared from the radar on April 4, a few days after the killing of Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force in Syria, in a strike on Damascus that was attributed to Israel.
The ship appeared again on Thursday near the Strait of Hormuz, leading into the Persian Gulf, on its way to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
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ספינת ריגול של איראן Behshad
ספינת ריגול של איראן Behshad
Iran's Behshad spy vessel
Bloomberg said that the Behshad, which the Iranians said was deployed for reconnaissance missions, had been assisting the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen in their attacks on vessels sailing in the Red Sea on their way to the Suez Canal, which began soon after the start of the war in Gaza.
The United States accused Iran of being deeply involved in the Houthi strikes. Tehran denies the claim.
NBC News reported in February that the United States was behind a cyberattack on the Behshar as part of its retaliation for the killing of three of its troops in an attack launched by pro-Iranian militias on a base in Jordan. The U.S. also launched a series of strikes on militia bases and facilities in Syria and Iraq. The Shiite groups have not attacked U.S. bases or personnel since. According to some reports, Iran instructed the militias to cease their attacks on U.S. interests.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that IRGC commanders in Syria had left their bases fearing Israeli retaliatory strikes after Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel earlier in the week. Many of the senior officials had already left and others were leaving the bases under the cover of night in anticipation of attacks on bases, weapons storage facilities and other assets.
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 שיגורים מאיראן לישראל
 שיגורים מאיראן לישראל
Iran fires missiles at Israel
Iran-backed Hezbollah was also reported to have reduced the presence of its senior members in Syria although other reports claimed the Lebanon-based group was bolstering its forces on the Syria-Israel border.
A source told the WSJ that Hezbollah reduced its level of alert inside Lebanon, believing Israel would not respond to the Iranian attack by targeting its northern neighbor. However, members of the Shiite group were warned to avoid IRGC sites that could potentially be targeted.
After Israeli leaders confirmed that an Israeli response was coming, Tehran repeated its warnings that any Israeli action would immediately be responded to in greater force than was seen overnight Sunday.
U.S. and European officials urged Israel to avoid an escalation that could lead to a regional war. According to ABC News, the U.S. gave Israel the green light to launch a ground offensive on Rafah if it would refrain from attacking Iran.
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