SANAA: Yemen’s Houthis on Monday denied that Iran-backed rebels were terrorists after a US-backed move by President Donald Trump warned aid groups that He could wreak havoc on the country.
Until the Congress reverses this decision, the Houthis will be blacklisted on January 19. A day before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, whose aides had hoped to put renewed pressure to end Yemen’s devastating six-year-old war.
Houthi political commander Mohammed Ali al-Thahi said in a tweet that the US move was “condemned, and we have a right to respond.” “The Yemeni people do not care about any position on the part of the Trump administration because it is complicit in killing Yemenis and starving them.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzada also condemned the US announcement, accusing the bankrupt US government of “further damage to its reputation” in the last days of Trump’s presidency.
The decision, announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could complicate Biden’s efforts to resume diplomacy with Iran and review Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, which has seen bloody action in its poor southern neighbors. Has caused
Pompeo said Sunday that the purpose of the post was to prevent the insurgent movement from being “responsible for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks that threaten civilians, infrastructure and merchant ships.” ۔
The Houthis have “led a brutal campaign that has killed many people, continues to destabilize the region and deny the Yemenis a peaceful solution to the conflict in their country.” The Yemeni government has welcomed the announcement, saying the Houthis deserved “their continued efforts to prolong the conflict and lead to the world’s worst inhumane crisis.”
Pompeo has been named a terrorist by three of the movement’s leaders, including its leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi. He cited a December 30 attack on an airport in Aden, another Yemeni city, that killed 26 people and was blamed on the Houthis by the Saudi-backed government.
The Houthis control much of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa, and are already under US sanctions. The U.S. is expected to intimidate foreign actors into a number of transactions, including bank transfers and food and fuel purchases, for fear of legal action.
Aid groups have warned Pompeo against blacklisting, saying they have no choice but to deal with the de facto government in northern Yemen. “The US government must ensure that no sanctions prevent food, fuel and medicine from entering a country already in the midst of a full-blown inhumane catastrophe.”
Pompeo insisted that the State Department was “planning in place” to reduce the impact on humanitarian work and imports in Yemen. The Trump administration is increasing pressure on Iran, which it hopes will create more logistical and political difficulties for Biden to ease sanctions as he seeks a return to the nuclear deal.
U.S. officials and analysts say Iran has armed the Houthis, but some experts question the extent of the cooperation and are more interested in Tehran infiltrating primarily Saudi Arabia, whose air campaign targets civilian targets. Attacks are included.