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US imposes sanctions on Houthi funding network

Houthi loyalists check weapons on military trucks during a tribal gathering on 1 August 2019 in Sana'a, Yemen. [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]
Houthis check weapons on military trucks during a tribal gathering on 1 August 2019 in Sana'a, Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

The United States has imposed sanctions on a network of individuals and entities affiliated with the Houthis in Yemen, in a crackdown on the funding of the Iran-backed movement.

According to a statement by the US Treasury Department yesterday, a total of four entities in Dubai, Istanbul and the Yemeni capital Sanaa have been placed under sanctions. They have also been imposed on several individuals, including two Yemenis, two Syrians, one Emirati, one Somali and one Indian.

The individuals and entities, according to the US, are members of an extensive smuggling network that generates tens millions of dollars for the Houthis and their operations.

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The move comes only months after the administration of President Joe Biden lifted the terrorist designation from the Iran-backed movement. That was a controversial move to enable aid to get to Yemen, which some saw as legitimising the group.

Nevertheless, the latest sanctions are supposedly intended to put pressure on the Houthis to accept a nationwide ceasefire, end their war against the Yemeni government and Saudi forces, and come to a political settlement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that call. "The United States will continue to apply pressure to the Houthis, including through targeted sanctions, to advance those goals," he insisted.

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