Yemen ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah SalehReuters

The United States has blacklisted Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, along with two Houthi rebel leaders, days after the UN Security Council made a similar move.

The US Treasury would blacklist Saleh, as well as Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim and Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi, for "engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen," it said in a statement.

The US sanctions against the key political figures will freeze any assets they may have in the States, while also prohibiting American companies from dealing with them.

Yemen has endured months of political unrest, as rival factions compete for power in the country's political transition phase.

Rebels from the Shia-aligned Houthi sect took control of the capital Sana'a in September, amid allegations that they received backing from Saleh's supporters.

Saleh himself was ousted from the presidency in 2012 following massive street demonstrations across the country. The former US-ally had ruled the Persian Gulf country for more than three decades.

Saleh has denied attempting to destabilise Yemen, which borders the world's biggest oil producer Saudi Arabia.