Updated February 17th, 2024 at 20:34 IST

US Sanctions Against Yemen's Houthis Take Effect After Rebels Listed as 'Global Terrorist' Group

The sanctions on Houthis, as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ group, will be effective 30 days.

Reported by: Digital Desk
US President Joe Biden, and Yemen's Houthis in Red Sea. | Image:AP

The US sanctions on the Yemeni rebel group Houthis has taken effect on February 16. The US State Department instated the ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ sanctions on Ansarallah, commonly referred to as the Houthis, over their attacks on the commercial shipping in Red Sea via the Bab-el-Mandab strait. On January 17, the US State Department made an official announcement that it was relisting Yemen's Houthis as a global terrorist group in response to the attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. 

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said in a statement in January, that the sanctions on Houthis, as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ group, will be effective 30 days. The Houthis have launched unprecedented attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November in an effort to deter the Israel’s ground offensive in Palestine’s Gaza Strip. US stationed military forces in the area with the allies 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,” Blinken said. 


US to ‘reevaluate’ Houthis designation if attacks in Red Sea stop

The designation of Houthis, he added, seek 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,” US State Department said. The latter added, that while the Houthis must be held accountable for their actions, “it should not be at the expense of Yemeni civilians.” 


“As the [US] 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,” Blinken said. During the 30-day implementation delay, he added, 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.” 
As sanctions came into effect, the US Department of the Treasury published licenses authorizing certain 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.



Published February 17th, 2024 at 20:03 IST