Casting more doubts on reports that the Houthis have done sort of a safe-passage deal to not target Chinese ships, the group fired on March 23 at least five missiles towards a Chinese vessel in the Red Sea.

According to the US Central Command (Centcom), the Iranian-backed group launched four anti-ship ballistic missiles “in the vicinity” of M/V Huang Pu, a Panamanian-flagged, Chinese-owned and Chinese-operated oil tanker, on Saturday.

It added that a fifth ballistic missile “was detected as fired toward M/V Huang Pu.”

“The ship issued a distress call but did not request assistance. M/V Huang Pu suffered minimal damage, and a fire on board was extinguished within 30 minutes. No casualties were reported, and the vessel resumed its course,” the statement said.

It added, “Houthis attacked the MV Huang despite previously stating they would not attack Chinese vessels.”

The U.S. forces, including USS Carney on Saturday engaged six Houthi unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over the southern Red Sea.

Five crashed into the Red Sea, and one flew inland into Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

It was determined these UAVs presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels in the region.