US intercepts Houthi drone, ballistic missile attacks in Red Sea

The United States on Thursday said it shot down one drone and one anti-ship ballistic missile in the Southern Red Sea that were fired by Houthis in the 22nd attempted attack on international shipping since Oct. 19.

There was no damage or reported injuries, US Central Command also said in its post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Houthis have seized or attacked with drones and missiles a dozen ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 19. They aim to raise the international costs of Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which was triggered by the October 7 onslaught into Israel by the enclave’s ruling Hamas militants.

The US is leading a new naval task force to protect commercial shipping and has accused Iran of supplying weapons, financing, targeting and other assistance to the Houthis. Iran denies the allegation.

In the latest mov aimed at throttling the flow of alleged Iranian financing to the Houthis, the US treasury announced on Thursday it is sanctioning an individual and three currency exchange houses it accused of facilitating the flow of financial assistance to the Yemeni militia.

The Treasury said the measures targeted a network through which an Iran-based financier, Said al-Jamal, who has been under US sanctions since at least June 2021, provides Iranian funds to the Houthis.

Those hit included Al Aman Kargo Ithalat Ve Nakliyat Limited Sirketi, which the Treasury described as a “waypoint” for funding provided to the Houthis by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Also targeted were Sanaa-based Nabco Money Exchange and Remittance Co, a recipient of funds sent by the Turkish entity, and its top official, Nabil Ali Ahmed al-Hadha, also president of the Currency Exchangers Association, the Treasury said.

Houthi-run Al Rawda Exchange and Money Transfers Co also was targeted for converting into Yemeni rials funds sent through Hadha’s accounts in Turkey, it said.

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