Washington may re-designate the Yemeni rebel group Houthis as a “terrorist organization” after their recent capture of a ship in the Red Sea. The Houthis have threatened to target Israeli ships in this strategic sea, in retaliation for Israel’s war against Hamas.
The United States may re-designate the Yemeni rebel group Houthis as a “terrorist organization” following their recent capture of a ship in the Red Sea, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday. . “In light of recent attacks on civilians by the Houthis, and now with this act of piracy against a vessel in international waters, we have been considering potential designation as a terrorist organization,” he said. .
Washington calls for release of captured cargo ship
He also called on the Yemeni rebels, linked to Iran, to release “immediately and unconditionally” the cargo ship captured on Sunday in the Red Sea with 25 crew members. The boat, chartered by a Japanese group, has an Israeli owner. The Houthis have threatened to target Israeli ships in this strategic sea located between northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, in retaliation for Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
This conflict was triggered by the unprecedented attack of the Palestinian movement on Israeli soil on October 7. The Houthis are part of what they describe as an “axis of resistance” against Israel, which includes groups supported by Iran, such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah. The United States removed them in February 2021 from its list of “terrorist organizations”. They judged at the time that this designation complicated the response to a very serious humanitarian crisis in Yemen, a country at war of which the rebel group controls a large part.