DUBAI, February 12. /TASS/. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have attacked the Star Iris commercial vessel which the attackers have identified as belonging to the United States, Yahya Saria, spokesman for the rebel movement Ansar Allah, said.
"Yemen’s naval forces targeted the US ship Star Iris in the Red Sea with anti-ship missiles," Saria told Al Masirah television as he described the strikes as direct and accurate.
Earlier, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported that an unidentified merchant vessel came under attack 40 nautical miles south of the Yemeni port of Al-Mukha. According to UKMTO, two missiles were fired at the ship, but the crew was not injured.
The Star Iris bulk carrier sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands departed from the Brazilian port of Vila do Conde for Iran’s Bandar Imam Khomeini exactly on this date a month ago, Marine Traffic said. The crew last reported their location from the central Red Sea earlier on Monday.
With the conflict in the Gaza Strip escalating, the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement announced that it would conduct strikes on Israeli territory and block pro-Israeli vessels from passing through the waters of the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait until Tel Aviv ceases its military operation in the Palestinian enclave. The Houthis have attacked dozens of civilian vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since mid-November of last year.
On the night of January 12, US and UK forces launched strikes using aircraft, ships and submarines against Yemeni rebel movement targets in a number of cities, including Sanaa and Hodeidah. US President Joe Biden said that the strike was carried out in response to unprecedented attacks by the Houthis in the Red Sea and was defensive. The targets included missile sites, UAVs and the Houthis’ radar stations. Several more such operations followed.