In a move that confirms the true intentions of the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia, the internationally recognized Yemeni government welcomed Washington’s designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization, while the group affirmed that the classification would not affect their militant path and that it reserves the “right to respond.”
The decision had been awaited since the US presidential election on November 3, 2020, and non-governmental organizations and international bodies feared that after his defeat, outgoing President Donald Trump would deliver a diplomatic blow to Iran before the transfer of power on January 20 to Joe Biden, who has expressed his desire to resume dialogue with Tehran.
The US State Department said that it will notify Congress of its intention to classify the Houthi militia as a “foreign terrorist organization.”
The department intends to include three Houthi leaders on the list of specially listed international terrorists, namely leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, his brother Abdul-Khaliq Badreddin al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim.
Since 2014, Yemen has been witnessing a war between the Houthi rebels loyal to Iran and the forces loyal to the government of internationally recognized President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and supported by the Saudi-led coalition, which began when the Houthis launched an offensive and took control of the capital, Sanaa.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the inclusion of the Houthis in Yemen on the lists of terrorism would counter the militia’s terrorist activity and seek to deter any other malicious activity of the Iranian regime in the region.
The Houthi militia is an armed group that rebelled from the state in 2004 and fought several wars with it. In 2014, it managed to overrun Sanaa and control most of the northern Yemeni governorates. The group still controls the capital and most of the densely populated areas in the north of Yemen, and it is fighting battles against government forces in a number of governorates.
The Houthis possess large military capabilities, including ballistic missiles, drones, and booby-trapped drones, and it targets government forces inside Yemen, as well as neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The Yemeni government welcomed the US designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization and called on Arab countries and permanent members of the Security Council to take similar steps.
In a step that confirms Iran’s panic from the repercussions of the decision, the Iranian Foreign Ministry considered placing the Houthis on the terrorist list by the United States as an “expression of the bankruptcy” of the outgoing president’s administration.
The United Arab Emirates also welcomed the decision, as UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said, “We welcome the American administration’s decision to classify the Houthi militia as a terrorist organization and to place its leaders on terrorist lists.”
“The Houthi militia’s coup against the state and its institutions and Yemeni society and its social and civil fabric sparked violence and chaos and led to the tragic deterioration of the humanitarian situation in brotherly Yemen,” he added.
For its part, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s welcoming the US administration’s decision “in a step consistent with the demands of the legitimate Yemeni government to put an end to the excesses of this Iranian-backed militia and the real dangers it poses that have led to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation of the Yemeni people, and its continuing threats to international peace and security and the global economy.”
The Saudi ministry expressed its hope that “this classification will contribute to putting an end to the terrorist acts of the Houthi militia and its supporters, as this would neutralize the threat of these militias and stop supplying this terrorist organization with missiles, drones, specific weapons and funds to finance its war effort and to target the Yemeni people and threaten international navigation and neighboring countries. This classification will also lead to the support and success of the existing political efforts and will force the leaders of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to seriously return to the table of political consultations.”
The Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs also welcomed this decision, considering it a “necessary step to put an end to the serious violations committed by the Houthi militia against the brotherly Yemeni people, and to confront its continued insistence on destabilizing security and stability in the region in implementation of the agenda of the Iranian regime that supports it,” according to the Bahrain News Agency.
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry also stressed the need for the international community to take similar measures against this terrorist group due to the horrendous attacks it commits against the Yemeni people and the neighboring countries and the threat to international shipping, as well as its continued obstruction of all efforts aimed at reaching a lasting peace and a political solution that preserves the Republic of Yemen and its unity and territorial integrity.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Abdul Salam, the official Houthi spokesman, said, “America has proven for many decades that it is the center of global crime, and as far as Yemen is concerned, it culminates in its failure there with trivial and miserable decisions.”
He described the current US administration as “an administration subject to isolation and trial, which must be preoccupied with its situation and contemplate its fate.”
For his part, Dhaifallah al-Shami, a spokesman for the Houthi-affiliated Sanaa government, said that the US decision resulted from an internal conflict with the end of the current administration and Trump’s departure.
He added to the group’s Al-Masirah channel that “the American classification will not affect our military or social path, but rather we will increase in strength, resolve and determination to confront America.”
A prominent leader of the terrorist group, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, confirmed, “We reserve the right to respond to any classification that emanates from the Trump administration or others.”
The United Nations estimates that Yemen is facing “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world” and that most of the population is in need of assistance and protection as a result of the conflict in this country, which has lasted for more than six years.
The Houthi terrorist group had begun to adopt more criminal methods with the suffering experienced by the Yemeni people, as it deducted sums of money, or so-called “royalties”, added to imported goods and commercial goods under the pretext of confronting the corona pandemic, and it imposed levies on the dozens of simple popular restaurants in Sanaa.
Recently, the militia doubled the royalties and taxes imposed on residents and merchants in its areas of control and enacted unconstitutional legislation that raised tax, customs and zakat fees, with the aim of covering the costs of its futile war and creating financial fortunes for its leaders.
Source » theportal-center