Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

The Biden Administration has announced it will return the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel group in Yemen, also known as Ansarallah, to the US Global Terrorism List.

The group was first designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the Trump Administration on January 19, 2021, one day before incumbent President Joe Biden was sworn into office.


The restoration of the group’s designation as a global terror organization, announced Wednesday, takes effect in 30 days and reverses the revocation of that status by the Biden Administration on February 16, 2021.

At the time, the State Department said the move came in “recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen.”

Since shortly after the October 7, 2023 start of a war against Israel by fellow Iranian proxy group Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis have launched explosive drones and ballistic missiles against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and Gulf of Aden, along with a number of hijacking attempts — all aimed at paralyzing the shipping lanes and thus crippling the Israeli economy.

The group has also attacked military forces who were deployed in the area to defend the safety and security of commercial shipping.

“These attacks against international shipping have endangered mariners, disrupted the free flow of commerce, and interfered with navigational rights and freedoms,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“This designation seeks to promote accountability for the group’s terrorist activities. If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States will reevaluate this designation.

“The Houthis must be held accountable for their actions, but it should not be at the expense of Yemeni civilians,” Blinken added.

“As the Department of State moves forward with this designation, we are taking significant steps to mitigate any adverse impacts this designation may have on the people of Yemen. During the 30-day implementation delay, the US government will conduct robust outreach to stakeholders, aid providers, and partners who are crucial to facilitating humanitarian assistance and the commercial import of critical commodities in Yemen,” he said.

Blinked added that the Treasury Department is also authorizing transactions related to the provision of food, medicine, and fuel, as well as personal remittances, telecommunications and mail, and port and airport operations on which the Yemeni people rely.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.