Houthi Rebels Attack Cargo Ship in Red Sea off Yemeni Coast

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis targeted a cargo ship in the Red Sea on Monday, which is the latest in a series of such strikes since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. The ship, identified as the Star Iris by the Houthis, was said to be American, but maritime shipping trackers reported that it was a Greek-owned Marshall Islands-flagged vessel. The British maritime security firm Ambrey and the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency confirmed that the ship was targeted by missiles while passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait. The bulker, reportedly hit and damaged on its starboard side, prompted several companies to alter their routes to avoid the Red Sea and take a longer and more expensive path around Africa. This string of attacks has resulted in the halting of Red Sea journeys by shipping companies. Ambrey reported that the projectile was sighted near the vessel, and the bulker was headed to Bandar Imam Khomeini in Iran, where the group owner and operator regularly traded bulk cargo. The group owner of the bulker was listed on the US stock market index NASDAQ, which was identified as the likely reason for the attack, according to Ambrey. UKMTO confirmed that the crew was unharmed and that the vessel is proceeding to its next port of call.