US imposes sanctions on two Houthi leaders

US imposes sanctions on two Houthi leaders
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The U.S. announced Thursday it is slapping sanctions on two Houthi military leaders as the brutal civil war in Yemen rages on.

Tim Lenderking, the U.S. special envoy on Yemen, said the sanctions would be imposed on Mohamad Abdulkarim al-Gamali and Yousuf al-Madani, two top officials involved in the rebel group’s offensive to seize the oil-rich region of Marib.

"If there were no offensive, if there were commitment to peace, if the parties are all showing up to deal constructively with the U.N. envoy there would be no need for designations," he said in a statement.

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The sanctions follow similar penalties the Biden administration slapped on two other Houthi leaders in March for actions that have “prolonged Yemen’s civil war and exacerbated the country’s humanitarian crisis.”

The years-long civil war in Yemen between the Iranian-backed Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition has produced one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history, sparking widespread famine and medicine shortages.

Saudi Arabia in March proposed a cease-fire, but negotiations over Houthi counterproposals have stalled any progress toward a cessation of hostilities. 

The Biden administration has worked to curb the violence to no avail, announcing in February an end to U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive operations in the war and lifting a terrorist designation against the Houthis, which critics said would prevent humanitarian aid from reaching people living in areas under the rebels’ control.