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Missile Attacks Fuel Support For Reversing U.S. Stance And Placing Yemen Rebels Back On Terrorist Blacklist

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The Washington Post

Missile Attacks Fuel Support For Reversing U.S. Stance And Placing Yemen Rebels Back On Terrorist Blacklist

By Missy Ryan and John Hudson
 
Expanded missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels have fueled support among some U.S. and Middle Eastern officials for placing them back on a U.S. terrorist blacklist, a year after the Biden administration ended that designation on humanitarian grounds.

The possible naming of the Iranian-backed rebels as a proscribed “foreign terrorist” organization, which would criminalize dealings with the group, is being raised following attacks on Yemen’s Gulf neighbors, including on a base housing U.S. troops in the United Arab Emirates.

But such a step, if approved, would constitute a highly unusual reversal of an earlier decision to end a Trump-era terrorist designation that Biden administration officials said would worsen already-dire conditions for Yemeni civilians. Humanitarian groups are warning that a renewed designation could have the same punishing effect as it would hamper getting aid into the country.

Peter Salisbury, a senior analyst for Yemen at the International Crisis Group, said there was no evidence that the designation would impact the ability of the Houthis, who have been locked in a war with a Saudi-led coalition since 2015 and now control much of Yemen, to conduct the drone and missile attacks that have made them a regional threat.

“We’ve fallen back into the problem that, in absence of good options, they’ve started looking at bad options, largely to be seen as looking tough to their regional allies and some political constituencies in Washington,” he said.

Full story https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/02/11/yemen-houthis-biden-terrorist-designation/

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