LONDON/WASHINGTON — Britain and the United States on Thursday said they had sanctioned four senior Houthi officials for their roles in supporting or directing attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea.
The Houthi attacks have disrupted global shipping and stoked fears of global inflation. They have also deepened concern that fallout from the Israel-Hamas war could destabilize the Middle East.
Those sanctioned were Houthi Defense Minister Mohamed Nasser al-Atifi, Commander of Houthi Naval Forces Muhammad Fadl Abd Al-Nabi, coastal defense forces chief Muhammad Ali al-Qadiri and Muhammed Ahmad al-Talibi, who the two governments described as the Houthi forces director of procurement.
“The Houthis’ persistent terrorist attacks on merchant vessels and their civilian crews … threaten to disrupt international supply chains and the freedom of navigation, which is critical to global security, stability, and prosperity,” the U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in a statement.
“Today’s joint action with the United Kingdom demonstrates our collective action to leverage all authorities to stop these attacks.”
Britain said the four men were involved in acts which “threaten the peace, security and stability of Yemen.”
The U.S. action freezes any U.S.-based assets of those targeted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.
On Monday, U.S. and British forces carried out a new round of strikes in Yemen, targeting a Houthi underground storage site as well as missile and surveillance capabilities used by the Iran-aligned group against Red Sea shipping.