The Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen has attacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea that was reportedly carrying corn to Iran, marking the first time they have targeted a ship bound for Iran. The ship, identified as the Star Iris, was attacked while transporting corn from Brazil to Iran, and the attack appears to be an attempt by the Houthis to show their independence from Iran. Several companies have opted for a longer and more expensive route around Africa to avoid the Red Sea due to the attacks.
The attack on the Greek-owned bulk carrier was confirmed by British maritime security firm Ambrey and the UK Maritime Trade Operations Agency, with reports of damage to the ship’s starboard side from a projectile near Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Mokha. The ship was en route to Iran’s largest port and a key grain terminal, Bandar Imam Khomeini. The U.S. and British military have carried out retaliatory strikes across Yemen in response to the attacks on international ships.
The attack by the Houthis on the cargo ship, carrying corn from Brazil to Iran, appears to be an attempt to assert their independence from Iran and show that they do not operate under Iranian control. The incident has prompted concern in the shipping industry, leading to some companies choosing to take a longer and more expensive route around Africa to avoid the Red Sea. The ship was damaged but the crew was uninjured, and the attackers have informed Tehran about the attack in advance.