The US Treasury imposes new sanctions to cut off weapons from the Houthis in Yemen

The United States on Monday imposed new sanctions aimed at cutting off weapons, supplies and funding to the Iran-backed Houthis, who control much of Yemen and have struck commercial vessels in the Red Sea to show support for Palestinians in Gaza.

“The United States remains determined to use the full range of our tools to stop the flow of military-grade materials and funds from the sale of raw materials that enable these destabilizing terrorist activities,” Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury Department for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement.

The sanctions were imposed on two individuals and five entities that facilitated the procurement of weapons for the Houthis, as well as on one individual, one company and one ship that contributed to the shipment of goods, “the sale of which provides an important flow of financing to the Houthis”. this helps in the procurement of weapons,” the Treasury statement said.

According to the Treasury Department, many of the designated entities are based in China or purchase weapons materials from Chinese companies.

The US action comes as the Houthis have recently stepped up attacks on ships. The US Navy responded with retaliatory military actions.

The American Central Command said this in a post on social media on Monday evening it had destroyed, in the last 24 hours, four Houthi radars and a maritime drone in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and destroyed an aerial drone over the Red Sea. On Sunday, the Navy said it had airlifted the crew of a Greek merchant ship attacked in the Red Sea last week. The US Army launched airstrikes on Thursday that destroyed three anti-ship cruise missile launchers in Houthi-controlled Yemen, according to Central Command.

Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said Monday that since mid-November the Houthis have launched about 190 attacks against ships sailing through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, a crucial shipping route through which 12% of world trade passes. The Houthis, the de facto government in northern Yemen, have built their ideology on opposition to Israel and the United States, seeing themselves as part of the “axis of resistance” led by Iran, along with Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. .

Their leaders often draw parallels between the American-made bombs used to target their forces in Yemen and the weapons sent to Israel that are used in Gaza.

“The Houthis' continued, indiscriminate and reckless attacks on unarmed commercial vessels are made possible by their access to key components needed for the production of their missiles” and drones, Nelson said.

The Treasury statement accuses the Houthis of “killing innocent civilians, causing serious damage to commercial vessels and threatening global freedom of navigation.”

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