A cargo ship loaded with corn that left Brazil a month ago heading to Iran was attacked this Monday (12) by anti-ship missiles in the Red Sea. Preliminary information indicates, according to Reuters, that the freighter was targeted by the Yemeni rebel group Houthis, which claims the bombing. The group began attacking vessels in the Red Sea that may be allies or of Israeli, American or United Kingdom flags. The Houthis support the terrorist group Hamas, which governs the Palestine region and attacked Israel on October 7 last year, restarting a war in the Gaza Strip.
Despite the shots, the vessel that left the port of Vila do Conde in Pará on January 12 was hit without major damage and continued on its journey. Its arrival at the port of Band Imam Khomeini, in Iran, is scheduled for the 19th of this month. The vessel can transport up to 80 thousand tons of grain and is operated by Star Bulk Carriers. On local TV, a spokesperson for the Houthi group stated that the ship, Star Isis, was an American ship. The freighter, however, flies the flag of the Marshall Islands, a territory associated with the USA but owned by Greece. Iran is the main buyer of this Brazilian cereal, importing around 4.5 million tons per year.
Before the crisis highlighting pirate attacks on commercial and military vessels, the region where the Brazilian cereal cargo ship was hit was responsible for at least 15% of world maritime trade. Currently, cargo ships have diverted navigation routes to avoid constant pirate attacks in the Red Sea.
Houthi fighters ride in the back of a pickup truck in Sana’a, Yemen.| Photo: EFE Agency.
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