Biden Administration Must Redesignate Houthis As A Foreign Terrorist Organization

(New York, N.Y.) — Last February, the Biden Administration revoked the Trump-era designation in the hopes of reducing violence and easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. However, since removing the Houthis from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), violence has only intensified. The Houthis have escalated their terrorist attacks, both in Yemen and against the United Arab Emirates.

On January 17, 2022, a Houthis drone destroyed three fuel tankers near Abu Dhabi International Airport, killing at least three and wounding six others. The Houthis also launched a ballistic missile toward Abu Dhabi, which was intercepted by U.A.E. forces. The Houthis called the attacks “Operation Hurricane Yemen,” which they launched in response to the “escalation of the U.S.-Saudi-Emirati aggression.”

One week later, on January 24, the U.A.E. intercepted two ballistic missiles launched toward Abu Dhabi. There were no casualties reported but missile debris scattered across the city. The Houthis claimed they had launched drones toward Dubai and Zulfiqar ballistic missiles at al-Dhafra airbase in Abu Dhabi, endangering U.S. military personnel stationed there, and other “sensitive targets.” They warned foreign companies and investors to leave the U.A.E. and threatened to “meet escalation with escalation.” On January 31, the Houthis fired Zulfiqar missiles at Abu Dhabi and drones at Dubai during an official visit to the U.A.E.  by Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarea warned “citizens, residents and companies to stay away from vital headquarters and facilities that will be targets in the coming period.”

Last week, the Yemeni army launched an offensive to retake the northern Yemeni city of Haradh, in Hajjah province, from the Houthis. On Monday, as fighting continued and the army pushed toward the city center, the Houthis fired four missiles toward government-controlled areas in Hajjah province. The Saudi-led Arab coalition accused the Houthis of using civilian facilities at Yemen’s Hodeidah port and Sanaa airport to launch missiles. On Tuesday, a Houthi landmine in Haradh killed at least 10 pro-government soldiers and destroyed a military vehicle.

To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s resource Houthis, please click here.

To read CEP’s resource Yemen, please click here.

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