Mansur al-Sa’adi

Mansur al-Sa’adi is a U.S.-designated senior Houthi commander in charge of the Houthis’ naval forces.“Issuance of Cyber-related General License and related FAQs; Cyber-related Designations Updates; Yemen-related Designations; Ukraine-/Russia-related Designations; Non-Proliferation Designations and Designations Updates,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 2, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210302. Sa’adi is chief of staff of the naval forces and has allegedly masterminded attacks against international shipping in the Red Sea.“Treasury Sanctions Key Military Leaders of the Ansarallah Militia in Yemen,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 2, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0043.

The United States charges that Houthi naval forces under Sa’adi’s command have carried out lethal attacks against international shipping in the Red Sea. According to the U.S. government, the Houthi forces under Sa’adi’s command have repeatedly dispersed naval mines, which strike both civilian and military vessels.“Treasury Sanctions Key Military Leaders of the Ansarallah Militia in Yemen,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 2, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0043.

Sa’adi has allegedly received training in Iran, which has been a primary benefactor of the Houthis. The United States further accuses Sa’adi of procuring Iranian-made weapons for Houthi rebels and smuggling them into Yemen.“Treasury Sanctions Key Military Leaders of the Ansarallah Militia in Yemen,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 2, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0043. A 2018 U.N. report accused Iran of supplying missiles and drones to the Houthis.Edith M. Lederer, “UN experts: Fuel from Iran is financing Yemen rebels’ war,” Associated Press, January 19, 2019, https://apnews.com/article/b406265e1c6642fd9a614416270263b6. In January 2019, the U.N.’s Panel of Experts on Yemen reported that they had “traced the supply to the Houthis of unmanned aerial vehicles and a mixing machine for rocket fuel and found that individuals and entities of Iranian origin had funded the purchase.Ahmed Himmiche, Fernando Rosenfeld Carvajal et al, “Letter Dated 25 January 2019 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen Addressed to the President of the Security Council,” U.N. Security Council, January 25, 2019, 40, https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2019_83.pdf. In June 2020, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reported to the Security Council that cruise missiles used attacks on Saudi oil facilities and an international airport in Saudi Arabia in November 2019 and February 2020 were of Iranian origin.“Missiles used to attack Saudi Arabia of ‘Iranian origin’: UN,” Al Jazeera, June 12, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/6/12/missiles-used-to-attack-saudi-arabia-of-iranian-origin-un.

On March 2, 2021, the United States sanctioned Sa’adi under Executive Order 13611 for engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen. Specifically, the government accused Sa’adi of using his position to procure weapons from Iran and to oversee attacks threatening civilians and maritime infrastructure. The government also sanctioned Ahmad Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi, who is in charge of the Houthis’ air force.“Issuance of Cyber-related General License and related FAQs; Cyber-related Designations Updates; Yemen-related Designations; Ukraine-/Russia-related Designations; Non-Proliferation Designations and Designations Updates,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 2, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210302. According to Andrea Gack, director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Sa’adi and Hamzi “command forces that are worsening the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.”“Yemen's Houthis say U.S. is prolonging war by imposing sanctions – TV,” Reuters, March 3, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-us-sanctions/yemens-houthis-say-u-s-is-prolonging-war-by-imposing-sanctions-tv-idUSKBN2AV151. The Houthi leadership condemned the designations as proof the United States seeks to extend the war in Yemen.“Yemen's Houthis say U.S. is prolonging war by imposing sanctions – TV,” Reuters, March 3, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-us-sanctions/yemens-houthis-say-u-s-is-prolonging-war-by-imposing-sanctions-tv-idUSKBN2AV151.

United States

The U.S. government designated Mansur Al-Sa’adi under Executive Order 13611 on March 2, 2021.“Issuance of Cyber-related General License and related FAQs; Cyber-related Designations Updates; Yemen-related Designations; Ukraine-/Russia-related Designations; Non-Proliferation Designations and Designations Updates,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 2, 2021, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210302.

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