The US State Department has announced that it will be designating the Houthi Yemeni Ansarallah militia as a terrorist organization.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on January 11: "The designations are intended to hold Ansarallah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping.”
The US Secretary of State, whose statement repeatedly describes the Ansarallah group as being backed by Iran, said he aims to place Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, Abdul Khaliq Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya Al-Hakim on the list of international terrorists, indicating that the inclusion of these individuals on the list would provide additional tools to confront the terrorist activity of the Ansarallah group.
The statement emphasizes that the Houthis were behind an attack on December 30, 2020 that targeted the newly-established government in Yemen as it arrived at Aden airport. The explosion killed 27 people, including three employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
“Rather than distance itself from the Iranian regime, it has embraced the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism even more. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has supplied Ansarallah with missiles, drones, and training, allowing the group to target airports and other critical infrastructure.”
Pompeo admitted that this designation will have an impact on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and said steps were being taken to ensure “humanitarian activity,” including imports of necessary goods, can continue.
The Ansarallah group condemned Washington's decision to classify it as a terrorist group.
Houthi leader Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi wrote on Twitter: "The Trump administration's policy is terrorist and its actions are terrorist. Its policies express an intellectual crisis. We condemn this action and we reserve the right to respond."
In another tweet, Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi also said that the Trump administration was responsible for the deaths of children through its acts of terrorism.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in the Republic of Yemen welcomed the United States' decision to classify the Ansarallah group as a foreign terrorist organization, which is consistent with the Yemeni government's demands to punish the militia.
"It is Iran's ideological, financial, military, and technical support for the Houthis that has allowed them to engage in reckless and reprehensible acts of terror,” a Yemeni foreign ministry statement said.
Yemeni Minister of Information Muammar Al-Eryani said the Iranian-backed Houthi militia had carried out a "barbarian campaign” against the al-Haima people in the southwestern governorate of Taiz on January 8, killing four people and injuring others during the bombing siege, which targeted homes and farms using a range of heavy and medium weapons.
The government called on the United Nations to take action against the Houthis’ actions.
Al-Eryani posted a series of tweets and a video clip showing Houthi militias mutilating the bodies of the killed civilians.
"The Houthi militia commits these crimes and violations, which have escalated in their horror, due to the absolute silence of the international community and human rights organizations,” the minister of information said. “ They have evaded their legal, humanitarian, and moral responsibilities to put an end to the Houthis' crimes and stop the shedding of Yemeni blood."
The Yemeni minister also called on the international community to support the new government’s efforts and the Yemeni people in an effort to restore security and stability, including expediting work to include the Houthi militia on the US State Department’s list of terrorists.