Iran-backed Houthi militants on Monday claimed its missiles had struck an “American ship” in the Red Sea, the latest in a series of attacks on commercial shipping in the region, although British Navy reports suggest the targeted cargo ship sustained only minor damages.
In a statement on X, a Houthi military spokesperson said the group targeted Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel Star Iris with “suitable naval missiles” and managed to achieve an “accurate and direct” hit.
The statement described the vessel as American although the Star Iris is owned by the Greek shipping company Star Bulk Carriers Corp., whose shares are publicly listed in the U.S.
The Yemen-based militant group said the attacks will continue until U.S. and British aggression against them is stopped and the “siege on the Palestinian people in Gaza” is lifted.
The United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations had previously issued a notification on the attack saying the vessel was hit by two missiles and reported only minor damage.
The British Naval agency’s notification added that the vessel and crew were safe and were proceeding to their next port of call.
Over the past month, U.S. and British forces have carried out several attacks against Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the Iran-backed militia’s constant targeting of commercial shipping in the Red Sea since November. The most recent attacks on the rebel group took place on February 3, when coalition forces struck 36 Houthi targets across 13 locations—including weapon storage facilities, missile systems and launchers, air defense systems and radars. The Houthis attack against Red Sea shipping began in what the group claims is a response to the ongoing Israeli military operation in Gaza. Last week, Pentagon Press Secretary Major General Pat Ryder said the attacks by U.S. military forces against the militia were having “good effects.” Monday’s incident is the first major Houthi attack on commercial shipping in the region in over a week.
More than 30. That’s how many attacks the Houthis have carried out against Red Sea shipping between mid-November and February 3, according to the Pentagon.