Houthis To Regain Terrorist Label If Attack Don’t Stop In 30 Days

The White House has given Houthi rebels 30 days to stop its stem of attacks on ships passing through the Red Sea, otherwise, the Iran-backed group will be added to the U.S. list of terrorist groups.

In a statement issued Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said:

“The Department of State today is announcing the designation of Ansarallah, commonly referred to as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group, effective 30 days from today. …

“This designation seeks to promote accountability for the group’s terrorist activities. If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States will reevaluate this designation.”

The Houthis have been carrying out “unprecedented attacks” since November, according to the release, targeting international shipping vessels passing through the Red Sea.

This has caused major problems, as it is a major waterway for ships transporting goods from Asia to Europe and vice versa. Some shipping companies have diverted their passages around the southern tip of Africa in response — adding a lot of extra time and cost to the trips — while others have halted shipping altogether.

That’s what Blinken pointed out in the release when he said the attacks “have endangered mariners, disrupted the free flow of commerce and interfered with navigational rights and freedoms.”
The SDGT designation would put significant sanctions on the Houthis. It specifically would seek to cut off weapons and funding that the group accesses now so they can carry out the attacks.
As Blinken continued:

“The Houthis must be held accountable for their actions, but it should not be at the expense of Yemeni civilians. As the Department of State moves forward with this designation, we are taking significant steps to mitigate any adverse impacts this designation may have on the people of Yemen.”

In the next 30 days, Blinken said the U.S. would “conduct robust outreach” to various partners, those who provide aid to the region and other stakeholders “who are crucial to facilitating humanitarian assistance and the commercial import of critical commodities in Yemen.”

There have been many concerns about what the Houthis’ attacks could lead to, including a much wider war in the Middle East that could draw in western countries as well. There are also concerns over a long-term disruption of global commerce as well as even more inflation in certain countries.

These U.S. threats come as British and American warplanes, submarines and ships launched multiple attacks against Houthi targets last week. The group is in control of Yemen’s most populous regions.

The Houthis have said that they are carrying out these attacks in protest of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Following the recent U.S. and UK attacks, the group has threatened a “strong and effective response.”

The Red Sea attacks are all part of a response from what’s called the Axis of Resistance, a group of militias that all have ties to Iran.

In addition to the Houthis, the groups include Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Shiites in Iraq and Hamas in Palestine.