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US Sanctions 2 Houthi leaders in Yemen

The United States laid sanctions against two Houthi movement leaders in Yemen. Houthi Naval Forces Chief of Staff Mansur Al-Sa’adi and Commander of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces Ahmad Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi are accused of using their positions to “procure weapons from Iran and to oversee attacks threatening civilians and maritime infrastructure,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday in announcing the sanctions.

“Ansar Allah uses Iranian weapons, intelligence, training, and support to conduct attacks threatening civilian targets and infrastructure in Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” Blinken said, using the official Arabic name for the Houthis.

The statement also condemned the Houthi’s “continued assault on Marib and their attacks in the region.”

“The United States has made clear our commitment to promoting accountability for Ansar Allah’s malign and aggressive actions, which include exacerbating conflict in Yemen, attacking our partners in the region, kidnapping and torturing civilians, preventing humanitarian aid access, repressing the Yemeni people in areas they control, and orchestrating deadly attacks beyond Yemen’s borders,” Blinken also said.

The Biden Administration lifted the designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization, mostly to facilitate the movement of humanitarian aid to the Yemenis. It also has withdrawn support for a Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen in support of the internationally recognized government and called for the civil war to end.