Houthis Target Crucial Iran Supply Ship

According to sources with knowledge of the ongoing shipping lanes crisis, it was the first instance of the Houthis attacking a vessel en route to Iran since they began attacking international ships in support of the Palestinian cause in the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

The Houthis of Yemen, who are affiliated with Iran, have attacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea, according to maritime experts. The boat was reportedly transporting corn to Iran on Monday.

Experts in the marine field had previously indicated that the ship could have sustained damage, but nobody had been hurt. The boat was probably specifically chosen but “not hit,” according to a US defense official, who declined to elaborate.

An official in charge of regional security stated that the strike seemed to be planned as a show to prove Iran does not control the Houthis and they act independently.

According to maritime shipping monitors, the ship flying the flag of the Marshall Islands was owned by Greeks, despite claims made by the group’s military spokesperson, Yahya Saree, in a television speech that the ship was American. The boat was called the Star Iris.

Kpler, a data and analytics firm, tracked the Star Iris as it sailed from Brazil to Iran, carrying the corn shipment.

International commercial shipping has been targeted by Houthi militants in Yemen on many occasions since mid-November. According to insiders in the maritime and insurance industries, the criminals have specifically targeted boats that have financial links to the US, UK, or Israel.

Warplanes from the United States and Britain have retaliated by attacking targets in Yemen; in response, some businesses have suspended Red Sea voyages and are instead taking the longer and more costly route around Africa.

Star Bulk Carriers, with headquarters in Athens and a stock listing on the NASDAQ in the US, is in charge of the Star Iris, a massive Panamax bulk carrier.

The U.S.-led coalition is responsible for limiting this kind of assault, according to a Star Bulk official.