US intercepted and destroyed Houthi weapons in the Red Sea

The U.S. Central Command reported intercepting and neutralizing a drone and an anti-ship ballistic missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the southern Red Sea. The incident, occurring between 5:45 and 6:10 PM local time, resulted in no injuries or damages to nearby vessels.

Stating that these attacks demonstrate the ongoing threat posed by the Houthis to freedom of navigation and international trade, CENTCOM accused Iran of supplying weapons and backing to the rebels.

Meanwhile, the Houthi military spokesperson, Yahya Sari, claimed responsibility for targeting a commercial vessel, the ‘MSC United,’ citing the crew’s alleged refusal to heed naval forces’ calls and warnings.

In a Telegram message, Sari asserted that the Houthis launched “appropriate naval missiles” and “multiple drones against military targets” in various areas of occupied Palestine, expressing unwavering support for the Palestinian people.

Additionally, the Houthis pledged to continue targeting Israeli ships or those heading to ports in occupied Palestine until the entry of food and medicine to civilians in Gaza is permitted, while committing to respecting other maritime traffic.

Since 2015, the Houthis, controlling Yemen’s capital Sana’a and other regions, have heightened their actions in the Red Sea following Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. These operations included the capture of the ‘Galaxy Leader’ vessel and damaging at least two other ships with their missiles and drones.

Consequently, several major shipping companies, including four of the world’s top five, have suspended operations along this vital maritime route for global trade or diverted ships through longer routes around the African continent via the Cape of Good Hope.

Simultaneously, the United States imposed fresh sanctions on an individual and three entities from Yemen and Turkey for involvement in an international network facilitating Iranian funding to the Houthi rebels.

These sanctions target Nabil Al-Hadha, president of the Currency Exchange Association in Houthi-controlled San’a, along with Turkish exchange houses Al Aman, and Yemeni entities Nabco and Al Rawda. The U.S. alleges their role in transferring “millions of dollars” from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to accounts controlled by the Houthis.

The sanctions freeze any U.S.-based assets of the sanctioned individuals and entities and prohibit transactions involving them by American citizens or financial institutions.

Brian E. Nelson, the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, emphasized the determination to curb illegal fund flows to the Houthis, citing their perilous assaults on international maritime transport and threat to further destabilize the region.

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