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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US warns Yemen's Houthi rebels after terrorism delisting

The war has killed some 130,000 people (Getty)

Date of publication: 9 February, 2021

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The Biden administration on Sunday warned Yemen’s Houthi rebels against ongoing attacks against civilians just 48 hours after moving to strike the group from a terrorism blacklist.

The Biden administration on Sunday warned Yemen’s Houthi rebels against ongoing attacks against civilians just 48 hours after moving to strike the group from a terrorism blacklist.

The State Department called on the Iran-backed rebel group to immediately stop attacks on civilians and new military operations in Yemen.

The demand came only two days after the administration notified Congress that it would remove the Houthis from its list of “foreign terrorist organizations," a designation that comes with severe US sanctions.

It also came just three days after President Joe Biden ordered an end to US support for the Saudi-led offensive military operations against the rebels.

"As the president is taking steps to end the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia has endorsed a negotiated settlement, the United States is deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

"We call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks impacting civilian areas inside Saudi Arabia and to halt any new military offensives inside Yemen, which only bring more suffering to the Yemeni people."

Friday’s delisting had been hailed by relief agencies who had slammed the Trump administration for putting the Houthis on the list in its waning days in office.

Critics said the designation would exacerbate what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by hindering aid shipments to a population on the brink of famine.

Yemen’s war began in September 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and began a march south to try to seize the entire country. Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and other countries, entered the war alongside Yemen’s internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The war has killed some 130,000 people, including over 13,000 civilians slain in targeted attacks, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Project.

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