Yemen’s Houthi terrorist group attacked a vessel bound for an Iranian port on Feb. 12, firing two missiles. Authorities reported no deaths or injuries, only minor damage.
The Houthis executed the attack on the Marshall Islands-flagged, Greek-operated bulk carrier Star Iris, which was heading from Brazil to Bandar Khomeini in Iran. Before the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Iranian regime had been instrumental in backing and funding the Houthis’ offensive for several years.
The most recent attack has demonstrated the wider scope of the Houthis’ target range, with terrorists targeting ships in an extensive region that encompasses the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the latter connecting the two waterways.
As is often the case with attacks carried out by the terrorist group, misinformation surrounding the attack is rife. They claimed the Star Iris was an American vessel that was targeted by multiple missiles, but no evidence to support this claim was offered by the attackers.
Shortly after the attack, a spokesman for the terrorist group said it would not hesitate in carrying out more “operations.”
“The Houthis’ military will not hesitate to carry out more operations in retaliation to the Zionist crimes against our brothers in the Gaza Strip, as well as in response to the ongoing American-British aggression against our dear country,” Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said.
The attack was initially reported by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) center, which is a part of the British military. The center oversees waterways in the region and confirmed the attack happened as the Star Iris was traveling south through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that separates East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.
According to UKMTO, the ship’s captain reported that two missiles were fired at the vessel, causing minor damage.
“Vessel and crew are safe. Vessel proceeding to next port of call,” it was reported.
For several days preceding the attack, there were no reports of Houthi attacks on vessels. There is no information on what caused the pause in attacks, although there have been multiple airstrikes by the U.S. and British forces on missile arsenals and launch sites in Houthi-controlled territory.
Earlier this month, however, Houthi terrorists targeted two vessels in the Red Sea, the Star Nasia, operating under Greek ownership and the Morning Tide, a British-owned vessel, the BBC reported. On both occasions, there were no reports of damage or injuries, and both ships continued on their route.
British maritime security firm Ambrey previously reported that a British-owned general cargo ship, sailing under the Barbados flag, was attacked by the terrorists. They had vowed to only target vessels affiliated with Israel and its military operations in Gaza.
Despite this, the Houthis have frequently targeted vessels with tenuous or no clear links to Israel, which has disrupted global trade along the key route for trade among Asia, the Mideast, and Europe.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.