In a rare move, the European Union has condemned the US decision to designate Yemen’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) as a terrorist group.
The US designated the Houthis as a terrorist group on January 10. The decision is set to come into force on the eve of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
In a statement, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the decision is “risky” and could undermine UN-led efforts to reach a comprehensive solution to the Yemen conflict.
“It [The designation] will complicate the necessary diplomatic engagement with Ansar Allah and the work of the international community on political, humanitarian and developmental matters,” the statement, which was issued on January 12, reads.
The EU also warned that the US designation of the Houthis, which control a large part of Yemen, will have a disruptive effect on the delivery of humanitarian aid funded by the international community.
On their part, the Houthis condemned the US decision declaring that they resere the right to respond to the designation issued by the Trump administration.
According to a recent report by the Daily Beast, Biden aides are preparing to mount a push to end the Yemeni war once he assumes office. This explains why the Trumps administration was in such rush to designate the Houthis.
The US designation will further escalate the already tense situation in Yemen, where fierce clashes are still ongoing on a number of front lines.
- The Liaison and Coordination Officers’ Operations Room (loyal to Ansar Allah) reported 167 ceasefire violations in al-Hudaydah during the past 24 hours.
- On January 12, Saudi-led coalition warplanes conducted 2 airstrikes on the Abdiyah area.
- On January 12, Saudi-led coalition warplanes conducted 7 airstrikes on the Maheliyah area.
- On January 12, Saudi-led forces attacked Ansar Allah positions in Jabal Murad and Rahba districts.
- On January 12, unknown individuals shelled the Alam camp north of Ataq with mortar shells.
The EU stand against the US decision will not likely lead to effective decisions on the situation in Yemen. It is still unclear if EU countries are ready to challenge the decision for real and help to put an end to the devastating war.
- Military Situation In Yemen On January 12, 2021 (Map Update)
- Houthis Vow To Respond To US Terrorist Designation