The United States and Britain expressed their concern over the latest field escalation by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen’s Marib and al-Jawf provinces.
The militias had launched on Sunday rocket and drone attacks on Marib, as well as ground attacks on the neighboring al-Jawf.
Yemeni officials blamed the latest spike in attacks on the United States’ decision to revoke the terrorist designation of the Houthis. The move, they added, gave the militias the green light to continue their war on the Yemeni people.
“The United States is deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks,” said a State Department statement on Monday. “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.”
“We urge the Houthis to refrain from destabilizing actions and demonstrate their commitment to constructively engage in UN Special Envoy Griffiths’ efforts to achieve peace. The time is now to find an end to this conflict,” it stressed.
British Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron strongly condemned the attacks on Marib and al-Jawf, urging the Houthis to cease such assaults immediately and prove their commitment to achieve peace by supporting the efforts exerted by the UN envoy.
The Biden administration’s decision to drop the terror designation was met with a largely lukewarm reception by the Houthis.
Iran’s “ambassador” to Sanaa, Hasan Irlu said he was “not optimistic” over the move that was announced by the “great Satan”, meaning the US.
In a tweet, Irlu, who is the effective military rule of Sanaa, said the new American administration is adopting a different approach than its predecessor whereby it is imposing direct political and military involvement in Yemen, similar to its presence in Iraq and Syria.
Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik said the Houthi ballistic missiles and drone attack against civilian neighborhoods in Marib and al-Jawf took place while international and UN efforts were underway to reach a political solution to the conflict.
This “is new evidence to the international community that the militias do not believe in peace and are forging ahead in implementing Iran’s malign agenda in the region,” he added.