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US re-lists Yemen's Ansarullah as 'terrorist' group over Red Sea shipping attacks

The file photo shows a fighter from Yemen’s popular Anasarullah movement. (By AFP)

The United States says it put Yemen's Ansarullah back on a list of "terrorist" entities, accusing them of repeated attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea.

“In response to these continuing threats and attacks, the United States announced the designation of Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in statement.

Officials said the move means the popular resistance movement will be hit by sanctions.

Senior American officials told Western media that the designation would take effect in 30 days and that it could also be reversed if Yemenis cease their attacks.

As part of their support for Palestinians, Yemen's armed forces have over the past month targeted several ships owned by Israel or bound for ports in the occupied territories, in the strategic Red Sea after multiple warnings.

Yemen says the measure is meant to help bring a halt to the Israeli genocidal war on Gaza, which has so far killed over 24,000 people, mostly women and children.

However, the US and its allies have portrayed Yemen’s attack as a threat to international peace.

Last week, American and British warplanes, ships, and submarines launched dozens of airstrikes against Yemen. They were followed by multiple US strikes in recent days.

Iran, Russia, Turkey, and several other countries have sharply criticized the United States, the United Kingdom, and their allies for their recent acts of aggression against Yemen, saying these countries bear full responsibility for the violation of international law.

The Donald Trump administration added Ansarullah to two lists, designating them as terrorists a day before its term ended.

That prompted the United Nations, aid groups, and some US lawmakers to express fears that sanctions would disrupt flows of food, fuel, and other commodities into Yemen.

Back in February 2021, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken revoked the designations in "recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen."

The United Nations describes the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as "severe" with more than 21 million people — two-thirds of the population — in need of aid.

It says more than 80% of the population struggles to access food, safe drinking water, and adequate health services.

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