Houthi terrorists
Houthi terroristsREUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

The United States on Monday imposed new sanctions aimed at cutting off weapons, supplies and funding to the Iranian-backed Houthis rebels.

“The United States remains resolved to use the full range of our tools to halt the flow of military-grade materials and funds from commodities sales that enable these destabilizing terrorist activities,” Brian E. Nelson, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement quoted by The New York Times.

The sanctions were placed on two individuals and five entities that have facilitated weapons procurement for the Houthis, as well as an individual, a company and a vessel that have helped with commodities shipments, “the sale of which provides an important funding stream to the Houthis that aids in their weapons procurement,” the Treasury statement said.

Several of the designated entities are based in China or procure materials for weapons from companies in China, according to the Treasury.

The Houthis have upped their attacks on vessels in the Red Sea since the start of the war in Gaza, as well as firing rockets in the direction of Israel.

In the wake of the uptick in Houthi attacks, the US formed a coalition, made up of more than 20 countries, aimed at safeguarding commercial traffic in the Red Sea from attacks by the Houthis.

In mid-January, with support from other countries, the US and Britain targeted just under 30 Houthi locations with 150 different weapons. They have since carried out several rounds of strikes against Houthi targets.

The Houthis have been unfazed by the strikes, saying that the campaign against the "Zionist enemy" will continue and that the attacks against the American and British ships will not stop.

Earlier this month, the Houthis published a video showing what they claimed was a Palestine-type ballistic missile that was launched towards Eilat this week and which was intercepted by the Arrow system.

A day later, the leader of the group, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, threatened to intensify the Houthis’ operations against Israel, carried out with the group Islamic Resistance in Iraq.