US imposes more sanctions on money-lending network tied to Yemen’s Houthi rebels

Brian E Nelson, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Thursday’s action “underscores our resolve to restrict the illicit flow of funds to the Houthis, who continue to conduct dangerous attacks on international shipping and risk further destabilizing the region”.

Nelsons said the US and its allies “will continue to target the key facilitation networks that enable the destabilizing activities of the Houthis and their backers in Iran.”

The Houthis have sporadically targeted ships in the region in the past, but the attacks have increased since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, spiking after an Oct 17 explosion at a hospital in Gaza killed and injured many. Houthi leaders have insisted Israel is their target.

In December, the White House also announced that it was encouraging its allies to join the Combined Maritime Forces, a 39-member partnership that exists to counter malign action by non-state actors in international waters, as it looks to push back against the Houthis.

The attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Houthi rebels have scared off some of the world’s top shipping companies and oil giants, effectively rerouting global trade away from a crucial artery for consumer goods and energy supplies that is expected to trigger delays and rising prices.

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