Monday, January 17, 2022

US sanctions Houthi military leaders make peace efforts

DUBAI – The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on two Houthi military officials, the U.S. Treasury Department said, and acted on the offensive of the Iran-adapted movement to seize the hostile Marib region in Yemen.

US special envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking on Thursday called on the group that had been fighting for more than six years with a Saudi-led coalition to weaken and the United States and the United Nations’ efforts for a ceasefire need to end the war. for the Biden administration.

He also urged the Saudi-led military alliance to remove restrictions on all Yemeni ports and airports to ease what is the United Nations’ world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

‘The Houthi do not win in Marib. “Instead, they put a lot of stress on an already very fragile humanitarian situation, but endanger the lives of 1 million displaced people,” Lenderking said.

He said the United States would impose sanctions on the chief of staff of the Houthi Marib offensive, Muhammad Abd Al-Karim al-Ghamari, and on a leader of the Houthi forces assigned to the march. , Yusuf al-Madani.

The treasury announced in a statement that the sanctions accused Al-Ghamari of prolonging the war and organizing attacks that harmed civilians.

The US State Department has also blacklisted al-Madani as a specially designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).

Supporters of Houthi hold up their arms during a demonstration against the US decision to designate the Houthi as a foreign terrorist organization in Sanaa, Yemen, on January 20, 2021. (Khaled Abdullah / Reuters)

“If there were no offenses, if there was a commitment to peace, and if the parties all turn up to deal constructively with the UN envoy, there is no need to give directions,” Lenderking said at a virtual media conference said.

Riyadh proposed in March a nationwide ceasefire and reopening of air and sea connections with Houthi territories to end a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

But the Houthis have called for restrictions on the Hodeidah port, the main access to Yemen’s commercial and aid imports, and the Sanaa airport to be lifted before any talks on a ceasefire.

The group has also repeatedly launched cross-border missile and drone strikes on Saudi cities, prompting the coalition to respond with airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.

Lenderking welcomed direct talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but said he had not yet seen a positive Iranian commitment to end the Yemeni conflict, which killed tens of thousands of people and starved millions of people in famine. .

“I think it is possibly a constructive engagement and we wish both parties success because it will not only be good for overall tensions in the region, but especially the Yemen conflict should have a positive impact,” he said.

The envoy said Washington wanted a long-term solution outside of a ceasefire and insisted Tehran support peace talks.

By Aziz El Yaakoubi

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