Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeted on Monday a cargo ship in the Red Sea bound for Iran, causing minor damage but no injuries to the crew, authorities reported on Monday. The attacked vessel, the Marshall Islands-flagged “Star Iris”, operated by a Greek company, highlights the broadening scope of Houthi assaults on ships navigating the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
According to assessments by Ambrey, a private security firm, the ship sustained damage to its starboard side in the assault. This incident follows a similar attack on another vessel owned by Star Bulk Carriers Corporation, indicating a pattern of targeting ships associated with certain nations or companies.
The cargo ship was not related to Israel, contradicting the Houthis’ excuse that they are attacking ships in response to Israel’s campaign in Gaza. What makes the attack even more confusing is that it was en route from Brazil to Iran, which is known for backing, arming, and financing the Houthis.
Houthi militants labeled the Star Iris as “American,” despite its Greek ownership. Brigadier General Yahya Saree, a Houthi military spokesperson, justified the attack as a response to perceived international aggression against Yemen and solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.