UK Sanctions Iranian Enablers of Houthi Attacks on Shipping Lanes

News Agencies | 2024-02-27 08:50 PM UTC
UK Sanctions Iranian Enablers of Houthi Attacks on Shipping Lanes


Britain on Tuesday imposed sanctions on units of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), targeting those who it said were enabling the work of the Houthis, the Iran-linked group responsible for attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. The sanctions were imposed in coordination with the United States. Britain's sanctions target Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, a deputy commander of the IRGC, three units of the IRGC Quds Force, Iran-based financier Sa'id al-Jamal and a Houthi security minister, the UK foreign ministry said. British Foreign Minister David Cameron said in a statement, "As I have made clear to the Iranian Foreign Minister, the regime bears responsibility for these attacks due to the extensive military support it has provided to the Houthis." Yemen's Houthi group has been attacking shipping lanes in the Red Sea since November of last year in support of Palestinians in Gaza.


The US used artificial intelligence to identify targets hit by air strikes in the Middle East this month, a defence official told Bloomberg News, hinting at a growing military use of the developing technology in combat tactics. Machine-learning algorithms that can teach themselves to identify objects helped to narrow down targets for more than 85 US air strikes on February 2, said Schuyler Moore, chief technology officer for US Central Command (Centcom), which runs military operations in the Middle East. The Pentagon said those strikes were conducted by bombers and fighter aircraft on seven facilities in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for a deadly strike on US personnel at a Jordan base.


Tawfeeq Al-Sharjabi, Yemen's water and environment minister, said they are in a race against time to save a sinking ship laden with thousands of tonnes of fertilizer in the Red Sea, urging international assistance to prevent an ecological disaster. Yemen's government organized an emergency committee on Saturday and issued a frantic plea to nations and marine conservation bodies to assist in rescuing the ship and preventing a possible environmental calamity in the Red Sea. "The situation is grave, and the ship is at risk of sinking," Al-Sharjabi said. On February 18, Yemen's Houthi group launched missiles at the MV Rubymar, a Belize-flagged and Lebanese-operated ship, badly damaging it and causing a large oil slick in the Red Sea.


On Tuesday, Egypt warned that Israel's planned ground invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza would have "catastrophic repercussions" for peace in the Middle East. Foreign ministers from Arab League countries told the United Nations Human Rights Council that some nations were turning a blind eye to the suffering in Gaza. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the extreme polarization exposed by the Gaza war had laid bare the double standards of some members of the UN's top rights body.