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Houthis May be Excluded from Terror List if the Red Sea Attack Stops

Houthis Presumed as a Terrorist Group (Credits: ABC News)

The US is contemplating removing Yemen’s Ansarallah movement (the Houthis) from its list of designated terrorist organizations. This move would be contingent on the Houthis ceasing attacks on Israeli-related vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The naval activities conducted by the Houthis in support of Gaza residents have recently extended to the Indian Ocean.

Tim Lenderking, President Joe Biden’s special envoy for Yemen, preferred a diplomatic resolution. He emphasized that a military solution is not feasible.

Lenderking made these statements during an online press briefing held in Muscat, Oman, following meetings in Saudi Arabia. There, he discussed these matters with Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Al-Busaidi.

Houthis Group, a Shia Islamist political and military organization (Credits: The Intercept)

When questioned by Bloomberg News about whether the US was proposing a quid pro quo to end attacks on ships in exchange for delisting the Houthis, Lenderking responded that such a proposal would be evaluated. Still, it shouldn’t be assumed as automatic.

The Biden administration had reclassified the Houthis as a terrorist organization in January after US and British airstrikes in Yemen, aiming to safeguard global maritime traffic. However, a coalition led by the US to protect Red Sea shipping hasn’t deterred Houthi naval operations against vessels heading to Israel.

Presumed Red Sea Attack By Houthis Group (Credits: Reuters)

In 2021, shortly after taking office, President Biden reversed the Trump-era terrorist designation of the Houthis to facilitate humanitarian efforts in Yemen. Instead of categorizing them as a “foreign terrorism organization,” the Biden administration opted for the “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” label.

In a recent speech, Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, the leader of Ansarallah, pledged to persist in their actions in solidarity with Palestine, affirming their support since the Battle of Al-Aqsa Flood and their commitment to enhancing capabilities until victory is achieved.

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