U.S., Gulf nations target Yemen terrorism financing

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2017 11:21 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and six Gulf nations have targeted 13 accused al Qaeda and ISIS militants in an action administration officials say will disrupt terrorism financing in Yemen, U.S. administration officials said on Wednesday.

Those targeted include the Islamic State's chief financial officer in Yemen and the militant group's head of assassinations in the country. The action places those named on a business blacklist, which prohibits any financial actions and freezes their bank accounts.

The nations joining the United States in the sanctions were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.

"This is the largest ever multi-lateral designation in the Middle East," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in Riyadh on Wednesday.

U.S administration officials said this is the first joint sanctions action by Washington and Gulf states. The coordination was particularly significant because of the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and several Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar in June, accusing it of financing terrorism, meddling in the affairs of Arab countries and cozying up to their arch-rival Iran.

(Reporting by Joel Schectman in Washington and Marwa Rashad in Riyadh; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott)