The United States will designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terrorist group, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
“The designations are intended to hold Ansar Allah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and commercial shipping,” Pompeo said in a statement, using the official name of the Houthi movement.
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,” he added.
Pompeo pointed to a December 30 attack on an airport in Yemen’s second city Aden, which killed 26 people.
The movement is one of the few in the region that is officially and openly antisemitic. The official slogan of the Houthis contains the statement: “Death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam.”
Pompeo insisted that the designations — which will come into effect takes office on January 19 — will not impact relief work.
“We are planning to put in place measures to reduce their impact on certain humanitarian activity and imports into Yemen,” Pompeo said.