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The US Dismantles its Soft Approach on Houthi Rebels

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan (Via Jake Sullivan/Twitter)

The Biden administration is poised to make a significant shift in its stance on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, as it plans to rebrand them as specially designated global terrorists. This change in status comes in the wake of the Houthis’ recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea, a crucial maritime route for global trade. The US has already taken military action against Houthi targets in Yemen, urging countries with influence over Tehran and other Middle Eastern capitals to condemn the group’s actions.

The decision to redesignate the Houthis as global terrorists follows a temporary delisting as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) and specially designated global terrorists in February 2021, when the administration aimed to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen. However, the Houthis’ ongoing attacks on commercial ships, which have resulted in significant disruptions to global trade and a slight increase in oil prices, have forced the administration to reconsider its stance.

The US’ shift in stance on the Houthis marks a significant departure from its previous approach, which aimed to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen. The administration’s decision to redesignate the Houthis as global terrorists is likely to have significant implications for the group and its allies, as well as for the global economy. The move is seen as a symbolic gesture aimed at demonstrating the US’ disapproval of the group’s actions and putting pressure on other countries to follow suit.

The situation in the Middle East has been further complicated by recent attacks, including Iran’s firing of missiles at targets in northern Syria and Iraq’s northern Kurdish region. The Houthis’ attacks on commercial vessels have led to concerns that the conflict in Gaza could escalate, with a risk that attacks could be launched by groups allied to Iran in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. This could have far-reaching consequences for the global economy.

The US has been working to address the situation, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan describing the issue as an “all-hands-on-deck” problem that requires cooperation from the US and its allies to minimize the impact on the global economy. The announcement is expected to be made on Wednesday, marking a significant shift in the administration’s stance on the group.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan (Via Jake Sullivan/Twitter)

The US’ decision to redesignate the Houthis as global terrorists may have significant implications for the global economy, as the group’s continued attacks on commercial vessels could disrupt global trade and lead to further economic instability. The move may also put pressure on other countries to take similar action, potentially leading to a more coordinated international response to the Houthi threat.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have been engaged in a brutal conflict with the Yemeni government since 2015, with the Houthis receiving support from Iran. The conflict has resulted in significant humanitarian crises, with Yemeni civilians caught in the crossfire and suffering from famine, disease, and displacement. The US’ decision to redesignate the Houthis as global terrorists is likely to have significant implications for the conflict, potentially leading to increased military action against the group and its allies.

The Middle East has been a flashpoint for global tensions in recent years, with the US-Iran crisis and the conflict in Gaza contributing to increased instability in the region. The Houthis’ attacks on commercial vessels have only added to the tensions, with a risk that the conflict could escalate further.

The US’ shift in stance on the Houthis marks a significant departure from its previous approach, which aimed to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen. The administration’s decision to redesignate the Houthis as global terrorists is likely to have significant implications for the group and its allies, as well as for the global economy. It remains to be seen how the move will be received by other countries, particularly those with significant economic interests in the region. However, one thing is clear: the US’ decision to redesignate the Houthis as global terrorists marks a significant shift in the administration’s stance on the group and is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the global economy and international relations.

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