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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
WASHINGTON — The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two commanders of the Iran-backed Houthi militia based in Yemen.
In a press statement, the US Department of the Treasury said that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklisted two key Houthi militants whose actions have prolonged Yemen’s civil war and exacerbated the country’s humanitarian crisis.
“Mansur Al-Sa’adi and Ahmad ‘Ali Ahsan Aal-Hamzi are responsible for orchestrating attacks by Houthi forces impacting Yemeni civilians, bordering nations, and commercial vessels in international waters. These actions, which were done to advance the Iranian regime’s destabilizing agenda, have fueled the Yemeni conflict, displacing more than one million people and pushing Yemen to the brink of famine,” the statement read.
Condemning the Houthi militia for causing destruction of civilian areas in the war-hit country, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki said: “The United States condemns the destruction of civilian sites by the Houthi militants designated today. These individuals command forces that are worsening the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.”
“The United States remains committed to promoting accountability of Houthi leadership for their actions, which have contributed to the extraordinary suffering of the Yemeni people.”
The move is aimed at blocking the property of persons threatening the peace, security, or stability of Yemen, according to the statement.
The US Treasury Department said that Mansur Al-Sa’adi, who serves as the Houthi naval forces chief of staff, has masterminded lethal attacks against international shipping in the Red Sea. The Houthi naval forces have repeatedly dispersed naval mines, which strike vessels irrespective of their civilian or military character. According to international human rights organizations, the use of naval mines in the Yemen civil war poses a risk to commercial, fishing, and humanitarian aid vessels. Mansur Al-Sa’adi, who has received extensive training in Iran, has also helped smuggle Iranian weapons into Yemen.
Ahmad ‘Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi, the commander of Yemen’s Houthi-aligned Yemeni Air Force and Air Defense Forces, as well as its UAV program, has acquired Iranian-made weapons for use in the Yemen civil war. Houthi military forces under Major General Ahmad ‘Ali Al-Hamzi’s command have carried out targeted UAV strikes. Like Al-Sa’adi, Al-Hamzi has received training in Iran, the US Treasury Department further added in its statement.
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