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A screengrab of video allegedly showing a Houthi UAV attack on the bulk carrier MV Cyclades.

A screengrab of video allegedly showing a Houthi UAV attack on the bulk carrier MV Cyclades.

U.S. Dishes Out New Sanctions Targeting Houthi Weapons Network

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2745
June 17, 2024

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced new sanctions on two individuals, including a tanker master, and five entities for their alleged involvement in facilitating weapons procurement for the Iranian-backed Houthi militant group in Yemen.

The sanctioned individuals and entities are accused of contributing to the ongoing terrorist attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, actions that have put global freedom of navigation at risk. The sanctions are targeting individuals and entities believed to be key enablers of the Houthis’ revenue generation and acquisition of materials used to manufacture advanced weapons.

The sanctions come in the wake of a series of attacks launched by the Houthis since November 2023, using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. These attacks have resulted in the deaths of innocent seafarers, extensive damage to commercial ships, and a significant threat to global freedom of navigation.

“The Houthis’ continued, indiscriminate, and reckless attacks against unarmed commercial vessels are made possible by their access to key components necessary for the production of their missiles and UAVs,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States remains resolved to use the full range of our tools to halt the flow of military-grade materials and funds from commodities sales that enable these destabilizing terrorist activities.”

Among those designated are Ali Abd-al-Wahhab Muhammad al-Wazir and his company, Guangzhou Tasneem Trading Company Limited, due to their affiliation with the Houthis. Activities in Oman were also targeted, with Oman-based International Smart Digital Interface Limited Liability Company (ISDI) and its operator, Muaadh Ahmed Mohammed al-Haifi, also sanctioned for facilitating the transfer of weapons-grade materials into Yemen. Additionally, PRC-based firms Ningbo Beilun Saige Machine Co., Ltd. and Dongguan Yuze Machining Tools Company Limited were sanctioned for supplying critical components to Houthi forces.

The sanctions also extend to the UAE-based Stellar Wave Marine L.L.C, manager of the Cameroon-flagged OTARIA, and its captain, Vyacheslav Salyga. The vessel was allegedly involved in shipping commodities for Houthi financier Sa’id al-Jamal.

The recent actions of OFAC follow the sanctions imposed last week on ten individuals, entities, and vessels engaged in illicit oil and commodity transportation, including on behalf of Houthi financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal. Among these individuals were two other tanker captains, Vivek Ashok Pandey and Sandeep Singh Choudhary.

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