US Designates Yemen's Houthis as Global Terrorists Amid Red Sea Crisis

World | January 18, 2024, Thursday // 09:23
Bulgaria: US Designates Yemen's Houthis as Global Terrorists Amid Red Sea Crisis

In a significant development, the United States has declared Ansarallah, commonly known as the Houthis, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, citing ongoing threats and attacks by the rebel group. This move comes in response to recent Houthi assaults on ships navigating the Red Sea, prompting the US to launch targeted strikes on Houthi positions within Yemen.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan emphasized the importance of this designation as a tool to hinder terrorist funding to the Houthis, impose tighter restrictions on their access to financial markets, and hold them accountable for their actions. The statement issued by Sullivan stated, "If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the United States will immediately reevaluate this designation."

This designation is set to take effect 30 days from now, allowing for humanitarian carve-outs to be implemented to minimize adverse impacts on the Yemeni population. The US government has assured that commercial shipments into Yemeni ports, crucial for the delivery of food, medicine, and fuel, will continue and remain exempt from sanctions.

Sullivan further clarified the US stance by saying, "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 statement reiterated the commitment to including carve-outs in all sanctions programs for essential items like food, medicine, and humanitarian assistance.

"As President Biden has said, the United States will not hesitate to take further actions to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce," Sullivan added.

Simultaneously, the US Central Command reported new strikes against Houthi ballistic missiles in Yemen. This marks the third such action since a recent US-led air and naval operation targeted Houthi threats to merchant vessels and Navy ships in the Red Sea. The strikes were a response to the Houthi launch of an anti-ship ballistic missile into international shipping lanes.

The Houthi rebels, aligned with Iran, have maintained that these strikes are a reaction to Israel's conflict with Gaza. The group has previously launched drone and missile attacks on Israel during heightened tensions. While most projectiles were intercepted, the attacks have escalated tensions in the region.

This recent escalation in the Red Sea crisis underscores the complex geopolitical dynamics at play in the Middle East, with potentially far-reaching implications for regional stability and international maritime security.


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Tags: US, Houthis, Yemen, terrorism

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