Congressional Democrats and Republicans rebuke Trump admin over Houthi terror designation

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Jan 12, 2021

Democratic and Republican management in Congress this week each criticized the Trump administration’s designation of Yemen’s Houthi rebels as terrorists.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced Sunday that the Houthis can be labeled a overseas terrorist group. Houthi forces are backed by Iran and are engaged in a civil conflict with Yemen’s internationally acknowledged and Saudi-backed authorities. The rebels have attacked Saudi Arabia, a powerful US ally, a number of occasions in latest months.

House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., stated the designation would make it harder to ship support to war-ravaged Yemen, the place Houthi forces management a lot of the nation’s west.

“This designation makes it tougher to ship life-saving help in a rustic already experiencing the worst humanitarian disaster on the earth,” Meeks stated in a Monday assertion. “Food aid, clean water, and basic health care for millions would be severely impacted.”

The designation means any US-based belongings of the Houthis could be seized. Aiding a delegated terrorist group can also be a criminal offense underneath US regulation. This might complicate support deliveries to components of Yemen underneath Houthi management.

Congressional Republicans made related statements to their Democratic counterpart’s. The rating member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul of Texas, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch of Idaho stated the chief department should grant waivers if Yemen is to proceed importing essential provides.

“Yemen imports 90 percent of its food. In light of near-famine conditions that have already existed in Yemen, this designation will have a devastating effect on Yemen’s food supply and other critical imports unless the Executive Branch acts now to issue the necessary licenses, waivers and appropriate guidance prior to designation,” McCaul and Risch stated in a joint assertion Monday.

All the congressmen voiced criticism of Houthi forces on the similar time. Meeks stated they’ve a “destabilizing role” within the nation. McCaul and Risch known as their habits “dangerous.”

Some humanitarian organizations made related feedback to the congressmen.

“Already one of the crucial troublesome working environments for support responders on the earth, this designation jeopardizes the power of support businesses to proceed working on the scale required to stop a disaster,” the US-based Mercy Corps stated in a press release despatched to Al-Monitor.

The designation of Houthi forces as terrorists, which takes impact Jan 19, is in step with US President Donald Trump’s technique to stress Iran and its allies. On Tuesday, Pompeo additionally accused Iran of harboring al-Qaeda.