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US sanctions four Houthi-tied vessels, their owners

"The United States will continue to counter illicit Iranian financial support to the Houthis," the State Department said.

Screen capture of a video that Houthi rebels released of a ship hijacking on Nov. 19, 2023 in the Red Sea. The Iran-backed terror group claimed the ship was tied to Israel. Credit: YouTube/Reuters.
Screen capture of a video that Houthi rebels released of a ship hijacking on Nov. 19, 2023 in the Red Sea. The Iran-backed terror group claimed the ship was tied to Israel. Credit: YouTube/Reuters.

Hours after U.S. forces and partners struck Houthi targets in Yemen, the United States announced designations of two companies and four vessels associated with the Houthis.

“Iran’s financial support to the Houthis has fueled their unrelenting attacks on global commerce in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden,” Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesman, stated.

The companies and vessels—Mehle, owned and managed by Hong Kong-based Cielo Maritime, and Sincere 02, Molecule and Fortune Galaxy all managed and operated by United Arab Emirates-based Global Tech Marine Services—are connected to Sa’id al-Jamal, an Iran-based Houthi financial backer.

Mehle and Sincere 02 both forged documents to hide the origins of shipments on behalf of al-Jamal, and the other two ships also transported Iranian goods, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“The United States continues to take action against the illicit Iranian financial networks that fund the Houthis and facilitate their attacks,” said Brian Nelson, under secretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. “Together with our allies and partners, we will take all available measures to stop the destabilizing activities of the Houthis and their threats to global commerce.”

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