Biden says administration mulling re-designating Yemen’s Houthis as terrorist group
21 January, 2022, 7:32 am
WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday said his administration is considering re-designating Yemen’s Houthi movement as an international terrorist organization following drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates claimed by the group.
His comment at a news conference came shortly after the Emirati Embassy tweeted that UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba urged the Biden administration to restore the designation in response to Monday’s strikes on Abu Dhabi airport and a fuel depot. read more
But he conceded that “it’s going to be very difficult” to end the conflict pitting the Houthis against Yemen’s internationally recognized government and a Saudi-led military coalition to which the UAE belongs.
The UAE welcomed Biden’s comment, the Emirati Embassy said in a tweet. The “case is clear – launching ballistic and cruise missiles against civilian targets, sustaining aggression, diverting aid to Yemeni people,” it said in the tweet.
Three people died in Monday’s drone and missile attack claimed by the Houthis.
In response, the Saudi-led coalition on Tuesday staged airstrikes on the Houthi-held capital, Sanaa, killing at least 20 people including civilians, according to Houthi media and residents – one of its deadliest attacks since 2019. read more
Otaiba held “broad” consultations with Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, on the situation that included discussions of the Houthi attack, a National Security Council spokesperson said.
The Emirati Embassy tweeted that Otaiba was accompanied by the top UAE intelligence official, Ali al Shamsi.
The embassy, in a second tweet responding to Biden’s consideration of the terrorist designation, said that Otaiba pressed the case for re-designating the Houthis in his meeting with Sullivan.
Lenderking began a new mission to the Gulf on Wednesday in a bid to reinvigorate the peace process and tamp down the surge in violence, the State Department said in a statement.
The envoy “will press the parties to de-escalate militarily and seize the new year to participate fully in an inclusive U.N.-led peace process,” it said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday spoke with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Pentagon said.
“Austin conveyed his condolences for the loss of life, and underscored his unwavering support for the security and defense of UAE territory against all threats,” the Pentagon added.