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Posted: Friday 26 January, 2024 at 10:03 AM

US/UK sanction Houthis for attacks on commercial vessels

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS military naval vessels of the United States and United Kingdom continue to engage those of the Houthis in order to protect merchant vessels that traverse the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the US Treasury Department has implemented sanctions on four top-ranking members of the “terrorist” group.


    In recent weeks, the Houthis have been attacking commercial vessels that provide food supplies to western countries, as well as some in the Caribbean Region including St. Kitts-Nevis which has a high dependency on imported foods. 


    Those attacks have affected the supply chain as more commercial vessels have been forced to use alternative routes to get their supplies to the West.


    Those atacks can cause a sharp decline and a bottleneck in food supply. And it is for those reasons the US and the UK have been fighting against the Houthis, who have been attacking commercial vessels, with the aim of bringing an end to the ongoing Isreal/Hamas War.


    In its statement issued yesterday (Jan. 25), the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it has “imposed sanctions on key officials of the forces of Ansarallah, commonly known as the Houthis, for their support to acts of terrorism targeting commercial shipping. Today’s action targets four individuals who have supported the Houthis’ recent attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, including holding civilian crews hostage”.


    Those sanctioned were Mohamed al-Atifi (al-Atifi), Muhammad Fadl Abd al-Nabi (al-Nabi), Muhammad Ali al-Qadiri (al-Qadiri), and Muhammad Ahmad al-Talibi (al-Talibi)


    The UK has also imposing sanctions on these key figures of Houthi forces.


    “The Houthis’ persistent terrorist attacks on merchant vessels and their civilian crews lawfully transitting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden threaten to disrupt international supply chains and the freedom of navigation, which is critical to global security, stability, and prosperity,” said Brian E. Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
    The UK official added: “Today’s joint action with the United Kingdom demonstrates our collective action to leverage all authorities to stop these attacks.”


     Why is this important?


    St. Kitts-Nevis and other territories within the Caribbean, like their allies across the West, have a dependency on imported foods. Since the pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues, the Federaion has seen a sharp increase in the prices of imported goods, which has prompted government and agriculture officials to call for people to eat more locally produced goods.
    Meanwhile, the Treasury Department noted that “as a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked”.


    The four sanctioned individuals are high-profile figures in the government: Mohamed al-Atifi is the so-called Houthi “Minister of Defense”; Muhammad Fadl Abd al-Nabi is the so-called “Commander” of the Houthis’ Maritime Forces; Muhammad Ali al-Qadiri is the so-called Houthi “Coastal Defense Forces Chief” and “Director of the Houthi Naval College,”; and Muhammad Ahmad al-Talibi who serves as the so-called “Director of Procurement”.




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