US to Relist Houthis as Specially Designated Global Terrorists Following Red Sea Attacks

The Biden administration is set to reclassify Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen as specially designated global terrorists, according to anonymous sources familiar with the matter. This move follows the Houthis’ repeated attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea, citing retaliation for Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

The Trump administration had previously designated them a foreign terrorist organization, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken delisted the Houthis in February 2021 to facilitate humanitarian aid into Yemen. 

The militant group emerged in 2014, rebelling against Yemen’s internationally recognized government and sparking a civil war that has led to a devastating humanitarian crisis in Yemen. With backing from Iran, they engaged in a prolonged conflict against a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The conflict eventually reached a stalemate, leading to peace talks between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis. Also known as Ansar Allah, the Houthi rebels now control about two-thirds of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

The Houthi group has launched numerous attacks on Red Sea vessels since November, leading to disruptions in global trade routes. US and British forces have responded with air and sea strikes, attempting to minimize the impact on the global economy. The Red Sea attacks have forced over 2,000 ships to divert thousands of miles, with Houthi militants threatening or taking hostage mariners from over 20 countries.

In response to the ongoing threat, a senior White House official emphasized the need for a collaborative approach to address the Houthi challenge. The US launched a new strike against the Houthis, targeting anti-ship missiles, while stressing the importance of global rejection of Houthi actions.

The situation has raised concerns about a potential escalation in the region, with Houthi attacks coinciding with broader geopolitical tensions involving Iran. The US has called for international condemnation of Houthi actions, emphasizing the need to manage the risk of further escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict and other volatile areas in the Middle East.

Information for this story was found via Reuters, The Associated Press, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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