Biden Administration Relists Houthis As Terrorist Organization

The Biden Administration redesignated the Houthi militant group in Yemen as a terror organization on Wednesday after months of attacks by the group on the U.S. Navy and civilian maritime vessels sailing through the Red Sea for peaceful, commercial purposes.

The Houthi military has launched attacks on the U.S. Navy and commercial vessels operating in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden over the past several months. Now, the Biden administration has categorized the group as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

A month after assuming office in 2021, President Joe Biden de-listed the military group that has fought an insurrection against the Yemeni government for years since the Arab Spring erupted over a decade ago. But the White House has now put the Houthis back on the official foreign terrorist organization list after months of violent attacks by the group.

“This designation is an important tool to impede terrorist funding to the Houthis, further restrict their access to financial markets, and hold them accountable for their actions,” national security advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday. “If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States will immediately reevaluate this designation.”

“As President Biden has said, the United States will not hesitate to take further actions to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce,” he added.

Mere hours after getting the new terrorist designation in Washington, Houthis said they targeted a U.S. bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden and struck the vessel with missiles in a direct hit.

“The naval forces will not hesitate to target all sources of threat in the Red and Arabian sea within the legitimate right to defend Yemen and to continue supporting the oppressed Palestinian people,” read a statement from a spokesperson for the Houthi group.

“These attacks are a clear example of terrorism and a violation of international law and a major threat to life, global commerce, and they jeopardize the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” said a senior White House official on Tuesday regarding months of violent Houthi escalations.