Arabian Gulf

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry lauded US classification of Houthis as terrorist organization

The Saudi Press Agency quoted what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Saudi Arabia welcomes the United States’ decision to classify the Iran-backed Houthi militia as a terrorist organization and three of its heads as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).

In fact, the ministry stated that the step is harmonized with the Yemeni government’s efforts to put an end to the violations of the Iran-backed militia and the real dangers it poses, which has led to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation of the Yemeni people, and the ongoing threats to the international peace and security.

On Monday, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, related in an official statement that the United States would classify the Iran-backed Houthi militia as a terrorist organization, and three of its heads as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).

The statement from the US also said that the Department of State will notify Congress of my intent to designate Ansarallah – sometimes referred to as the Houthis – as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity, pursuant to Executive Order 13224.

US Secretary of State added: 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.

According to SPA, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry indicated that it wanted that the new step would help to stop the Houthis’ terrorist acts and disappoint its supporters from providing the group with missiles, drones, weapons, and funds,

On its part, Yemen’s foreign ministry also praised the US’ decision on Monday and stated that the step is in line with the government’s efforts to punish the militia. Yemeni foreign minister Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak, said in a statement: After six years of war, and the imposition of numerous sanctions against individuals, we believe that all political and legal pressures on the Houthis should continue to escalate and intensify in order to create conditions conducive to a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The minister added that the Iran-backed group should be designate as a foreign terrorist organization not only for their terrorist acts, but also for their permanent efforts to prolong the conflict and cause the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world.

It should indicate that the group’s crimes comprise bombing civilian homes and places of worship, detaining and punishing journalists and political activists, using health and educational facilities for military purposes, abolishing economic institutions in Yemen, and also attacking civilians in Saudi Arabia, in what the foreign ministry said.

Pompeo said that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) provides the Houthis with missiles, drones, and training, which allow the group to target airports and other critical infrastructure. Iran supports the Houthis in Yemen’s civil war against the internationally-recognized government.

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