Washington [US], January 11 (ANI): US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Sunday (local time) announced that United States will designate Yemen's Houthis as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
"I also intend to designate three of Ansarallah's leaders, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim, as SDGTs," Pompeo said.
According to an official statement, the implementation of these designations will take effect on January 19, one day before US president-elect Biden takes his office.
"These designations will provide additional tools to confront terrorist activity and terrorism by Ansarallah, a deadly Iran-backed militia group in the Gulf region," Pompeo said in his statement. "The designations are intended to hold Ansarallah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping," he added.
Pompeo said the United States planned to put in place measures to reduce the impact on certain humanitarian activity and imports into Yemen.
We have expressed our readiness to work with relevant officials at the United Nations, with international and non-governmental organizations, and other international donors to address these implications, an official statement said.
Pompeo said that with the implementation of these designations on January 19, the US Treasury Department would provide licences that would apply to some humanitarian activities conducted by non-governmental organizations in Yemen and to certain transactions related to critical commodities exports such as food and medicine.
The Treasury Department has previously issued such special licences to humanitarian groups for heavily sanctioned countries, but international relief officials have said such measures often failed to unblock aid flows as banks and insurance firms worry about running afoul of sanctions.
"If Ansarallah did not behave like a terrorist organization, we would not designate it as an FTO and SDGT. It has led a brutal campaign that has killed many people, continues to destabilize the region, and denies Yemenis a peaceful solution to the conflict in their country," the statement said.
The United States also calls on the Iranian regime to stop smuggling weapons to Ansarallah in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and to stop enabling Ansarallah's aggressive acts against Yemen and towards its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, it said. (ANI)