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February 18, 2022 9:05 am

Bipartisan Lawmakers Urge Biden to Redesignate Houthis as Terror Organization

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Supporters of Yemen’s Houthis hold up their rifles as they rally to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the ousting of the government in Sanaa, Yemen September 21, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah – A group of 17 bipartisan lawmakers is calling on the Biden administration to redesignate the Houthis as a terrorist organization.

The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Mike Waltz (F-Fla.), who are both veterans serving on the House Armed Services Committee, cited the escalation in attacks by the Iranian-backed terror group, including the drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates, a close US ally where American soldiers are stationed.

“The uptick in Houthi aggression against our close allies and uniformed personnel is unacceptable,” the letter read. “Their recent attacks on large international transit centers such as Dubai shows an increase in lethal capability and a desire to increase attacks on critical civilian infrastructure.”

Noting that the Houthis are diverting aid from the Yemeni people, the lawmakers urged that the United States “needs to remain committed to helping our partners in the Gulf defend themselves.”

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The outgoing Trump administration added the Houthis to the US State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations in January 2021.

However, shortly after taking office, the Biden administration removed the Houthis as part of a strategy to end the eight-year war in Yemen that has led to more than 130,000 deaths. With the renewed attacks, the Biden administration said in late January that a redesignation was “under consideration.”

The letter comes as Israel has raised significant concerns over the threat the Houthis pose to the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made his first official trip to Bahrain this week to underscore the shared threat Iran and its terror proxies pose to the Jewish state and its Arab allies. Hezbollah is present in Yemen and assisting the Houthis by giving them military knowledge and training while in turn learning lessons from the “Yemen war lab” that they can in future apply against Israel, a senior former defense official told JNS.

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