The US announced new sanctions against the Houthis on Wednesday that target an alleged financing network of the Yemeni group.
The sanction target Sa’id al-Jamal, who the Treasury Department says is a top Houthi financer. The US also named other individuals and businesses allegedly involved in the network.
The sanctions come as the US is under pressure from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to redesignate the Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organization.” President Biden’s National Security Council is reportedly in favor of the move, while the State Department favors targeted sanctions instead.
The Trump administration designated the Houthis as terrorists in one of its last foreign policy moves. President Biden quickly reversed the designation as the UN and international aid groups warned it would push more Yemenis into starvation.
Conditions in Yemen have only gotten worse over the past year, and aid groups are again strongly warning against the move. Yemeni importers are also sounding the alarm since the designation could severely cut food imports.
Abu Dhabi called for Biden to redesignate the Houthis after the Yemeni group launched attacks inside the UAE. The US has responded to the Houthi attacks by helping the UAE intercept missiles and deploying fighter jets to the Gulf nation, marking an escalation in Washington’s role in the war.