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Biden Administration to Reimpose Terrorist Designation on Yemen’s Houthi Rebels

The Biden administration is preparing to relist Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a global terrorist group due to their recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Previously Designation in 2021

Credit: DepositPhotos

This decision comes after the group had previously been designated as a terrorist organization in January 2021, a move that raised concerns among humanitarian organizations about the impact on aid efforts in Yemen.

A Brief History of the Houthi Designation

Taiz / Yemen – 30 Nov 2016 : Soldiers fighting in the ranks of the legitimate army against Al-Houthi militia in Taiz City . — Photo by akram alrasny

In January 2021, the Iranian-backed Houthi group was designated as a terrorist organization. This designation raised concerns within the humanitarian community, as it was feared that the accompanying restrictions would hinder efforts to provide aid to Yemen’s impoverished civilians.

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Biden’s Initial Response

Credit: Joe Biden On Age Issue: US president Joe Biden (AFP)

Upon assuming office, President Joe Biden swiftly removed the Houthi rebels from the list of designated terrorist organizations. This move was part of his administration’s diplomatic efforts to address and resolve Yemen’s ongoing civil war.

Recent Consideration for Redesignation

In recent weeks, the Biden administration has been contemplating the possibility of reinstating the terrorist designation for the Houthi rebels.

Initial Hesitation

Credit: DepositPhotos

Some officials involved in the decision-making process were initially hesitant due to concerns about potential disruptions to humanitarian aid and peace talks.

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Balancing Priorities

Credit: DepositPhotos

According to an official familiar with the decision, the administration aims to safeguard humanitarian assistance and peace talks while considering the redesignation. The effectiveness of these efforts remains to be seen.

Biden’s Perspective

Credits: DepositPhotos

When questioned about the potential redesignation, President Biden downplayed the significance of the label, referring to it as “irrelevant.” During a recent press interaction, he emphasized that whether or not they are designated as terrorists, the actions of the Houthi rebels remained a concern.

Recent Houthi Attacks

Credit: Mohammed Huwais/AFP

The consideration for redesignation comes in response to a series of Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, particularly following the October 7 surprise terrorist attack on Israel. These attacks have disrupted commercial shipping and heightened tensions in the Middle East.

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US Response

Credit: Abduljabbar Zeyad | Reuters

In response to the Houthi attacks, the United States has carried out airstrikes targeting Houthi-related targets, as confirmed by U.S. Central Command.

Region Remains Unstable

Credit: Depositphotos

The situation in the region remains fluid, and the potential redesignation of the Houthi rebels as a terrorist group adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the broader Middle East.

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Credit: DepositPhotos

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