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The US State and Treasury Departments have introduced new sanctions aimed at undermining the financial support system of the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

This announcement on Friday follows the joint airstrikes by the United States and United Kingdom on Thursday, which targeted multiple sites in Yemen and resulted in five deaths, according to Houthi leadership. These strikes were in retaliation to the Houthis’ attacks on civilian ships in the Red Sea.

Yemen Conflict

The State Department, in a statement, linked Iran’s financial backing to the Houthis as a primary factor fueling their assaults on international trade routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The new sanctions specifically target two Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates-based companies involved in shipping operations that financially benefit the Houthis. Furthermore, four vessels associated with these companies are also under the sanctions radar.

The focus of these sanctions is on Sa’id al-Jamal, identified as an Iranian military-affiliated financier backing the Houthis. Al-Jamal, already designated a terrorist by the US in 2021, is crucial in the financial network supporting the rebels. The sanctions entail the seizure of the implicated vessels if they enter US waters and prohibit American entities from conducting business with the targeted companies.

This comes as President Biden defended the recent airstrikes, emphasizing their necessity to counter threats against American interests and to uphold maritime freedom in vital global trade routes. He said, “These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes.”


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