White House Refuses To Appoint Houthis As Terrorist Organization

(ConservativeSense.com) – The White House has refused to designate the Houthis rebels in Yemen as a terrorist organization. Responding to arguments by House Speaker Mike Johnson, who described the group as “extremist terrorists,” the State Department said they would label the Houthis a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group within 30 days if it does not stop its deadly attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

In a press release, Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the Houthis of “unprecedented” attacks that have endangered mariners and “disrupted the free flow of commerce.” He said the group must be held accountable, but not at the expense of Yemeni civilians. “The US government will conduct robust outreach to stakeholders, aid providers, and partners” to ensure that humanitarian assistance can reach the civilian population, Blinken added.

In a separate document, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said designating the Houthis as SDGT is an “important tool” in preventing funding of the group and restricting their access to financial markets.

SDGTs are entities and individuals who are considered to pose a significant risk of committing terrorist acts or supporting those who commit terrorist acts. The Biden administration removed the Houthis from America’s terrorist list in 2021, in a reversal of Trump policy, saying it hindered the world’s ability to provide aid to Yemeni civilians. A White House official said SDGT designation allows “better flexibility” and allows the US to target Houthis while minimizing risk to humanitarian assistance.

Houthi rebels, who are involved in Yemen’s ongoing intra-religious civil war, began attacking ships in the Red Sea in revenge for Western support of Israel. In mid-January, US and UK forces launched air strikes against the group in Yemen, but it has not yet reduced its activity in the Red Sea. Major oil companies, including Shell and BP, have suspended shipments through the region, while others have re-routed, often adding thousands of miles to their journeys. Experts warn of a knock-on effect on inflation as shipping costs soar.

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