Today, the United States is taking action against two senior leaders of Houthi forces in Yemen who are involved in military offensives that exacerbate the humanitarian crisis, pose a dire threat to civilians, and destabilize Yemen. In doing so, we are promoting accountability for Houthi actions that perpetuate conflict in Yemen and undermine peace efforts, including the brutal and costly offensive targeting Marib. These actions have come despite an unprecedented consensus among the international community and regional actors on the need for an immediate ceasefire and resumption of peace talks.
The Houthis benefit from generous military support from the Iranian government to wage attacks against civilian population centers and commercial shipping infrastructure in Yemen, exacerbating conditions in what the United Nations calls one of the world’s worst current humanitarian disasters. The United States is therefore designating Muhammad Abd Al-Karim al-Ghamari pursuant to E.O. 13611 and designating Yusuf al-Madani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. The Treasury announcement outlining the implications of these sanctions can be seen here: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0191 .
Al-Ghamari is being designated for his role in orchestrating attacks by Houthi forces impacting Yemeni civilians. He most recently took charge of the large-scale Houthi offensive against Yemeni government-held territory in Marib governorate, as well as attacks against Saudi Arabia and neighboring states. The Marib offensive is exacerbating Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, as it puts approximately one million vulnerable internally displaced people at risk of being displaced yet again, threatens to overwhelm an already stretched humanitarian response, and is triggering broader escalation.
Al-Madani is being designated for the significant risk he poses of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. Al-Madani is a prominent leader of Houthi forces and is the commander of forces in Al Hudaydah, Hajjah, Al Mahwit, and Raymah, Yemen. As of 2021, al-Madani was assigned to the offensive targeting Marib. Persistent Houthi repositioning and other violations of the ceasefire provisions of the Hudaydah Agreement have destabilized a city that serves as a critical thoroughfare for humanitarian and essential commercial commodities. Additionally, there are regular reports of Houthi attacks impacting civilians and civilian infrastructure in and around Hudaydah, further exacerbating the situation for Yemenis facing some of the highest levels of humanitarian need in the country.
We call on the Houthis to immediately cease all attacks and military offensives, especially their offensive against Marib, which only causes more suffering for the Yemeni people. We urge them to refrain from destabilizing actions and to engage in UN Special Envoy’s efforts to achieve peace.
It is time to end this conflict.