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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

US treasury and Gulf countries impose sanctions on Yemen terror figures

The sanctions target leaders, financiers, and facilitators of ISIL in Yemen  and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

ISIL and Al Qaeda have tried to expand their presence in Yemen. The US along with the Gulf countries are looking to impose sanctions to curb that presence. EPA
ISIL and Al Qaeda have tried to expand their presence in Yemen. The US along with the Gulf countries are looking to impose sanctions to curb that presence. EPA

New sanctions have been imposed on eight Yemenis and a Yemeni entity suspected of terrorist financing by both the US and GCC countries.

The designations represented a rare moment of coordination among all the Gulf states since the Qatar crisis started in June.

The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin coordinated with the Gulf countries in announcing the designations on Tuesday during a speech at an investment conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The sanctions target leaders, financiers, and facilitators of ISIL in Yemen and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A supermarket that was being used by one of the terrorists targeted in the announcement was also sanctioned.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain jointly agreed to the sanctions list with Washington in what Mr Mnuchin described as “the largest ever multilateral designation in the Middle East.”

The sanctions represent the first move taken by the recently established Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, which was announced during Donald Trump’s visit to the region in May.

It is also one of the first coordinated moves taken by all six Arab Gulf countries since Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE along with Egypt cut relations with Qatar over Doha's own support of extremism.

“Through this action we are aggressively targeting radical extremists in Yemen and the surrounding region who pose a direct threat to the security of the United States, Yemen, and the international community,” Mr Mnuchin said.

Many of those terrorists targeted were military leaders of the organisations, including Adil Abduh Fari Uthman Al Dhubhani, a commander of a 2,000 strong AQAP fighting group, and Radwan Muhammad Husayn Ali Qanan, who has been referred to as an ISIL "military amir" since the beginning of the 2015 Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

Mr Mnuchin is scheduled to visit the UAE, Qatar and Jerusalem during his Middle East trip.

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