“The US decision will increase our support for the Palestinians”
The United States today announced the designation of Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, as “global terrorists.” This was made known by the White House National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, specifying that this designation, “in response to the continuous attacks and threats” by the pro-Iranian Yemeni group, “is an important tool to prevent the financing of terrorism by Houthis, further limit their access to financial markets and hold them accountable for their actions.” “If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States will immediately reevaluate this designation,” Sullivan said.
The Biden administration removed the Houthis from the global terrorist list in February 2021, in order to allow humanitarian assistance to the population, after then-President Donald Trump added them in the final weeks of his mandate.
“The designation will come into force in 30 days – explains the White House National Security Advisor – to allow us to guarantee solid humanitarian clauses, so that our action is aimed at the Houthis and not at the population of Yemen. We are introducing exemptions and unprecedented licenses to help prevent negative impacts on the Yemeni population. The people of Yemen must not pay the price for the Houthis’ actions.”
Sullivan then reiterates “the clear message” to the terrorist group that is conducting “unprecedented attacks against American military forces and international shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden”: “Commercial shipments in Yemeni ports, from which the Yemeni people depends for food, medicine and fuel, they must continue and are not covered by our sanctions. This is in addition to the waivers we include in all sanctions programs for food, medicine and humanitarian assistance.”
The Houthis’ reply
The Houthis’ reply arrived quickly. The United States’ decision to reinstate the Houthis on the global terrorist list will only “increase” support for the Palestinian cause from the Yemeni group. A Houthi spokesperson, Mohammad Abdul Salam, told al-Jazeera, specifying that the White House’s decision “will not distract us from our firm position in support of the Palestinians” and will have “no effectiveness” on the field. The spokesperson also denied that there are Iranian “supply lines” to Yemen.