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Saudi-backed Yemen govt hails US sanctions on Houthi leaders

December 11, 2020 at 11:03 am

Yemeni loyalists of the Houthi movement in Sana’a, Yemen on 8 August 2020 [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government has welcomed US sanctions on five leaders of the Houthi group.

The move “comes as a victory for the civilian victims against the tyranny and crimes of these terrorist militias [the Houthi group],” the Yemeni Foreign Ministry said late yesterday in a statement published on the official Saba News Agency.

The government said it looks forward to similar steps by the international community to “deter Houthi militias, which have not stopped committing crimes and grave violations against civilians.”

Yesterday, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on five Houthi leaders over charges of “committing violations against Yemenis, including arbitrary detention and torture.”

The sanctioned leaders include Abdul Hakim Al-Khawani, the head of the group’s intelligence apparatus.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the conflict has so far claimed the lives of 233,000 people and pushed the country on to the brink of famine making it the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

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