HouthisREUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired six anti-ship ballistic missiles from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, a US defense official told NBC News.

Three of the missiles were attempting to hit MV Star Nasia, a bulk carrier transiting the Gulf of Aden. Star Nasia sustained minor damage but no injuries. MV Star Nasia remains seaworthy and is continuing toward its destination.

The remaining three missiles were most likely targeting MV Morning Tide, a cargo ship operating in the southern Red Sea. The three missiles hit the water near the ship without effect, according to NBC News.

MV Morning Tide is continuing its journey and reported no injuries or damage.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Houthis, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, said that the group will further escalate if the Israeli attack on Gaza does not stop, according to Reuters.

In a televised speech, al-Houthi said the group will "seek to escalate more and more if the barbaric and brutal aggression against Gaza does not stop, along with the siege of the Palestinian people from whom they deny aid and medicine."

The Houthis have upped their attacks in the region since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. The US then formed a coalition, made up of more than 20 countries, aimed at safeguarding commercial traffic in the Red Sea from attacks by the Houthis.

In mid-January, with support from other countries, the US and Britain targeted just under 30 Houthi locations with 150 different weapons. The two countries have continued to strike Houthi targets since.

On Monday, British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps made a statement to MPs on the Houthi strikes, saying that the UK and US responses have had a “significant effect on degrading Houthi capabilities”.