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Ansarullah condemns US sanctions, holds US accountable for prolonged Yemen war

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement has slammed recent US sanctions against two of its leaders, saying Washington is prolonging the conflict and aggravating the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn impoverished Arab country.

The movement’s spokesman, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, on Wednesday criticized the US’ contradictory statements about peace while imposing sanctions at the same time.   

“The US made many statements about peace and then they imposed what it called sanctions,” Abdul-Salam said, adding that the recent US sanctions show the US “does not attempt to stop the aggression and lift the siege on Yemen.”  The sanctions also show the US “is responsible for the prolongation of the war and the exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis,” he added.  

The administration of US President Joe Biden on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two military leaders of the Ansarullah movement in Yemen, accusing them of orchestrating attacks that affected the Yemeni people, neighboring countries and commercial vessels in international waters. 

The sanctions targeted Mansur al-Sa’adi, the Yemeni naval forces chief of staff, and Ahmad Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi, the commander of Yemen’s air force and air defense forces. 

The sanctions contrast with the State Department’s decision last month to revoke the “terrorist” designation of Ansarullah, imposed by former US president Donald Trump’s administration on its last full day in office. 

In another move last month, Biden’s administration also declared it withdrew support for a Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen, declaring that the six-year war “has to end.” 

He, however, raised eyebrows when he did not pull al US support for Yemen war when he said, “We’re going to continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity and its people.”  

Biden administration’s confusing signals on Yemen prompted dozens of Democratic members of Congress to press the president to further clarify his position on Saudi Arabia’s war of aggression against Yemen.

Forty-one lawmakers made the demand from Biden in a letter released last Thursday. 

Saudi Arabia, together with its allies including the United Arab Emirates, launched a war on Yemen in March 2015 with the aim of reinstalling Yemen’s former pro-Riyadh government and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement. 

The war, described by the UN as the worst humanitarian crisis, has also been accompanied by an all-out siege of Yemen. 

‘US sanctions inconsistent with claim of supporting peace’ 

Separately, the Ansarullah Political Bureau, in a statement, condemned the sanctions, saying they “have no real value.”  

He described the US sanctions as inconsistent with its claim of advocating peace but in line with the continued siege on Yemen.   

“The United States is committing aggression against the Yemeni people through sanctions and other means, and Washington’s position is to provide an umbrella for the aggressors to continue attacking the Yemeni people,” it said.

Also in the statement, the Ansarullah Political Bureau pointed to the fierce battle in the northern city of Ma’rib between Yemeni army forces and militiamen loyal to the pro-Saudi former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. 

It described Ma’rib as one of the battle fronts from where the enemy has started its open aggression, adding that it has been used as a launch pad for attacks against neighboring provinces, including al-Jawf, Sana’a and al-Bayda. 

It stressed that the enemy has turned Ma’rib to a base of the al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups that operate under the auspices of the US-backed aggression coalition.

Over the past few weeks, Ma’rib has been the scene of large-scale operations by the Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters, who are pushing against Saudi-backed Hadi supporters.

‘Donors conference included countries that created catastrophe in Yemen’ 

In a separate development, Yemeni Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf Abdullah said the so-called donors conference for Yemen included a group of countries that directly or indirectly created the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, adding that its results were weak and disappointing. 

In a statement, Abdullah said that the results were not surprising given the presence of “the US-Saudi-Emirati countries of aggression, who want to weaken Yemen and let the worst humanitarian disaster continue.” 

He said what has been pledged is not nearly half of what was estimated by the United Nations for food aid and medical and health needs of nearly four million displaced people. 

He also lashed out at the international community for “watching the unjust aggression against Yemen” while “talking about the humanitarian catastrophe.”

The international community wants to alleviate the crisis “without addressing its apparent causes represented by the continuation of the military and economic aggression.” 

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