Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Congress Pressures Biden to Re-Designate Houthis as 'Terrorist Group'

Congress Pressures Biden to Re-Designate Houthis as 'Terrorist Group'

Saturday, 22 January, 2022 - 09:45
US Congress (Reuters)

US President Joe Biden's statements about the possibility of re-designating the Houthis a "terrorist" group were welcomed by several lawmakers, namely Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has been striving since last November to push the administration towards taking such a step.

Congress is pushing the US administration to take a quick executive decision and re-designate the Houthis on the list of terrorism.

Republican Cruz introduced a bill in the US Senate hoping he would garner enough votes this time for the imposition of sanctions on the Houthi group.

Several US legislators have expressed anger over the recent Houthi attacks on the UAE, which led to a wave of public criticism of the US administration.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that the US administration should stand with its allies instead of desperate attempts to reassure the malign regime in Tehran that is destabilizing the region.

Republican Mike Gallagher argued that the decision to revoke the terrorism designation was a mistake from the beginning.

Gallagher, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said last year that the Biden administration revoked the Houthis' designation as a terrorist organization.

"The Houthis have thanked the president by storming the US embassy in Yemen last November and now firing missiles in Abu Dhabi,” he said

“The president needs to reverse course, recognize reality, and re-designate the Houthis as a terrorist group,” he added.

Furthermore, Republican Representative Joe Wilson criticized Biden because of his policy towards Iran.

Wilson tweeted: "The Houthi terrorists in Yemen, fueled and armed by the Iranian regime and its dangerous ideology, committed a terrorist attack in Abu Dhabi, killing innocent people."

Wilson said that the Biden administration's lack of action in addressing Iran's terrorism and missiles reveals how singularly focused it is on begging Iran to return to a nuclear deal that it never adhered to in the first place.

"We stand with the United Arab Emirates and other partners in the region who are committed to working toward peace and stability."

Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Gregory Meeks said he would look into whether the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen should be relabeled as a terrorist group.

Meeks, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, announced: "I'm very concerned and condemn to the highest degree the Houthis’ utilization of drones and the strike on the UAE.”

Meeks added that his "only concern" is making sure humanitarian aid can continue and to make sure that it's getting to people who are not combatants.

Emirati Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba asserted that UAE is committed to providing humanitarian aid to innocent Yemenis.

Otaiba continued his bipartisan discussions and met with several congress members and senators to harness support to designate Houthi as a terrorist organization.

Editor Picks