The Houthis, who are supported by Iran, were named as a “specially designated global terrorist” group by the Biden administration on Wednesday in response to attacks by the United States on the militants stationed in Yemen who have been launching waves of attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.Since Thursday, the Pentagon has carried out three missile and warplane attacks on locations used by the Houthis to target and launch missiles at commercial and navy ships passing through the Red Sea, with the first military backing coming from Great Britain.In a statement announcing the classification of Ansarallah, better known as the Houthis, as a terrorist organisation, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan claimed that the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea “fit the textbook definition of terrorism”.
“They have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardised global trade, and threatened freedom of navigation,” stated Sullivan. “The United States and the international community have been united in our response and in condemning these attacks in the strongest terms.”As stated by the Houthis, these attacks are a response to Israel’s invasion of Gaza. The Biden administration has faced multiple confrontations with Iranian-backed militant groups across the Middle East, despite its best efforts to contain the fighting inside Gaza.
“The effects and humanitarian considerations of the United States’ designation of the Houthis as terrorists”
President Joe Biden told reporters last Friday that, in response to a query about whether he would be willing to use the word “terrorist group,” “I think they are,” prior to the formal classification.Sullivan claims that the Houthis’ designation as terrorists is “an important tool to impede terrorist funding to the Houthis,” since it further restricts their access to financial markets and holds them accountable for their actions.Since the designation takes effect in 30 days, the U.S. will be able to ensure that “robust humanitarian carve outs are in place” so that the operations target the Houthis rather than the Yemeni people, according to Sullivan.
“The people of Yemen should not pay the price for the actions of the Houthis,” said Sullivan. “We are sending a clear message: commercial shipments into Yemeni ports on which the Yemeni people rely for food, medicine and fuel should continue and are not covered by our sanctions.”The Biden administration removed the Houthis from the list in 2021. The Houthi received the designation—which has financial repercussions—from the Trump administration. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Houthis were driven out to allow humanitarian relief to reach Yemen, a nation devastated by civil war.
“Senator Cotton Attacks Biden’s Policy and Recent Military Actions Due to Iran’s Support for the Houthis”
Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, criticised the Biden administration’s 2021 choice after the Associated Press first reported that the move was being considered.”The terrorist wing of Iran’s army armaments and trains the Houthi rebels,” Cotton said in a statement sent by his office. “And they assault American ships and foreign trade while yelling “Death to America.” Removing them from the list of terror organisations was a deadly folly and another pointless attempt to appease the Ayatollah.
“Joe Biden’s frailty and bad judgement continue to endanger our security.”On Thursday, a coalition headed by the US launched airstrikes and missiles from aircraft, ships, and submarines on many targets in Yemen. More than 150 bombs and missiles were launched at radar and anti-ship ballistic missile systems. Two further, lesser strikes were carried out against comparable targets in the Red Sea by the Houthis after they fired missiles and struck commercial ships there.Two Navy SEALs lost their lives at sea during the recent interception of a ship carrying Iranian ballistic missile parts intended for the Houthis.
“The Houthis are once again classified as Specially Designated Global Terrorists by the Biden Administration.”
The Biden administration designated the Yemen-based militia as a Specially labelled Global Terrorist (SDGT) organisation on Wednesday in response to the Houthis’ continuous attacks.Administration officials claim that the purpose of the SDGT designation is to deter the Houthis from carrying out their aggressive actions in the Red Sea. It is the latest in a series of US strikes against the Iran-backed group, and it comes at a time when there’s a good chance a wider regional war in the Middle East might break out.During a Tuesday call with reporters, a senior US administration official declared, “These attacks are blatant examples of terrorism.”
Following the identification of the Houthis in the final weeks of the Trump administration, the government de-listed the group as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) and in February 2021, it rescinded their designation as an SDGT.The decision to remove the group was motivated, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the time, by concerns that their designations may compromise efforts to deliver critical aid to the Yemeni people. “A recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen,” he stated.
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“Reinstatement of the Terrorist Designation Against the Houthi: Prospects for a Ceasefire and Relief Exceptions”
The reimposed SDGT designation will take effect 30 days from Tuesday, the person claimed, in order “to ensure a robust humanitarian carve outs are in place so our action targets the Houthis and not the people of Yemen.”According to a second senior administration official, the government would get in touch with organisations offering humanitarian aid to Yemen during those thirty days. The World Food Programme estimates that 21.6 million people would require this kind of assistance in 2023.
The authorities claim that the designation is not meant to jeopardise the precarious ceasefire that exists in Yemen between the Houthis and the coalition led by Saudi Arabia.Furthermore, they argued that designating the Houthis as terrorists is a part of a bigger effort to convince them to stop their attacks in the Red Sea.”We are ready to review this categorization, which is mainly targeted at that specific terrorist action, if we observe an end to the Houthi attacks on ships. The initial official stated, “We would also be open to considering the possibility that it wouldn’t take effect if the Houthis stopped tomorrow.”We firmly believe that the purpose of these sanctions is to halt these attacks rather than a larger spectrum of behaviour.”