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Biden reverses Trump's decision to designate Iranian-backed Houthi militia group in Yemen as a terrorist organization - despite their 'death to America' slogan and links to missile attacks

 The Biden administration will reverse President Trump's decision to designate the Iranian-backed Houthi militia group in Yemen as a 'terrorist organization'.  

The move was confirmed by a State Department official on Friday - one day after President Biden also declared a halt to U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen. 

The ongoing civil war in the Middle Eastern country is widely seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blacklisted the Houthis on January 19 - just 24 hours before Biden took office. 

At the time, The Washington Post reported that 'Trump administration officials denied that they were complicating the peace efforts for ­President-elect Joe Biden'.

The Biden administration will reverse President Trump's decision to designate the Iranian-backed Houthi militia group in Yemen as a 'terrorist organization'. Yemen's Houthi supporters are pictured on Thursday

The Biden administration will reverse President Trump's decision to designate the Iranian-backed Houthi militia group in Yemen as a 'terrorist organization'. Yemen's Houthi supporters are pictured on Thursday 

'Trump administration officials denied that they were complicating the peace efforts for ­ Biden', despite decided to label the Houthi militia a 'terrorist organization' 24 hours before the new President took office
Biden is pictured on Thursday

'Trump administration officials denied that they were complicating the peace efforts for ­ Biden', despite decided to designate the Houthi militia as a 'terrorist organization' 24 hours before the new President took office

An official told The Post that the Trump administration decision was based on the fact that the Houthis had 'involvement in terrorist activities, including a missile attack on a Saudi airport in 2019 and another on a Saudi oil distribution station in 2020.'

The slogan of the Houthi movement is 'Allah is Greater, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam'. 

Pompeo stated last year that the Trump administration 'simply recognized reality,' by designating the group as terrorists. 

'The Houthi forces are terrorists, underwritten by the theocracy, the kleptocracy that runs the Islamic Republic of Iran. That regime is funding a missile program, funding capabilities inside of Yemen that put Europe at risk and put the Middle East at risk,' he stated. 


However, experts warned that the Trump administration's designation 'could complicate UN-brokered peace talks between the Iran-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government in Yemen'.

President Trump had been a vocal critic of Iran, and accused Democrats of being too soft on the Middle Eastern power and their various allies. 

A young child stands with Yemen's Houthi supporters on Thursday as they take part in a gathering to donate for those fighting against the Saudi-backed government

A young child stands with Yemen's Houthi supporters on Thursday as they take part in a gathering to donate for those fighting against the Saudi-backed government

The war in Yemen has been stretching on for six years, with nearly a quarter-million people  dying due to starvation and a lack of medical care

The war in Yemen has been stretching on for six years, with nearly a quarter-million people  dying due to starvation and a lack of medical care

The war in Yemen has been stretching on for six years, with nearly a quarter-million people dying due to starvation and a lack of medical care.  

The UN describes Yemen as the world's biggest humanitarian crisis, with 80 percent of its people in need. 

On Friday, a State Department official stressed that the decision for the Biden administration to reverse the designation does not reflect the U.S. view of the Houthis and their 'reprehensible conduct'.

'Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world´s worst humanitarian crisis,' the official said.

They added that new Secretary of State Anthony Blinken conducted a 'comprehensive review' of the case.  

Donald Trump is pictured with his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo said the Administration simply recognized the 'reality' that the Houthi militia were 'terrorists'

Donald Trump is pictured with his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo said the Administration simply recognized the 'reality' that the Houthi militia were 'terrorists'

New Secretary of State Anthony Blinken conducted a 'comprehensive review' before deciding to reverse the Trump Administration's decision to label the Houthi militia a 'terrorist organization'

New Secretary of State Anthony Blinken conducted a 'comprehensive review' before deciding to reverse the Trump Administration's decision to label the Houthi militia a 'terrorist organization'

President Barack Obama began support for Saudi side in the Yemeni conflict, before President Donald Trump ramped it up.

However, Biden has now announced he is ending support for Saudi Arabia's controversial war in Yemen - his first major foreign policy reversal.  

 'Today he will announce an end to American support for offensive operations in Yemen,' said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House press briefing on Thursday. 

The move would fulfill a campaign pledge by Biden, whose administration plans to pursue diplomacy to end the overall conflict in Yemen. 

Saudi Arabia began the offensive in 2014 to counter a Yemeni Houthi faction that had seized territory in Yemen and was launching cross-border missiles at Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led air campaign since then has killed numerous civilians, and survivors display fragments showing the bombs to be American-made. 

1 comment:

  1. trump designated the Houthis as terrorists because trump's best buddies the saudis told him to do so. until that happened, trump had no idea who the Houthis are.

    ReplyDelete