Houthis chief scoffs at US terrorist label, vows to hit back

Houthis leader Abdul Malik was angered at Washington's decision to relist his movement as a terror group.

Undeterred by American words, the Houthis’ leader vowed that the group would continue its actions against Western forces in support of the Palestinian people. 

On January 18, much to the condemnation of rebel leader Abdul Malik, Washington reclassified the Iran-backed group as a terror organisation, according to Reuters. 

Malik claimed that the western powerhouse, Israel’s biggest ally, was punishing his movement for its support of the Palestinian struggle. 

In a televised speech, the militant said, “The American attacks and classifications have no significance and are a step that occurs solely in the context of defending Israel’s crimes. 

“We will continue targeting ships linked to Israel and the bombing of occupied Palestine until the aggression and blockade on Gaza ends.”   

In response to the US’ decision Dhaif Allah Al-Shami, the group’s information minister, wrote on  X,“The threat to place ( Houthis) on the American terrorist list is a desperate ploy that has no impact on the Yemeni people. On the contrary, it will boost their faith, strength, and confidence in their position.” 

READ: John Wight: The truth about the Houthis

Houthis and Western forces, notably the US and UK who are staunch allies of Israel, have traded blows over the past couple of months in what looks like the spreading of the chaotic Israel-Gaza conflict regionally. 

As Western forces struck back at the Yemeni Rebels in the Red Sea, various British opposition MPs condemned their country for what they perceive to be further escalating tensions in a region that is under fire. Houthis have been attacking in particular Israeli vessels, both military and commercial, shortly since Hamas’ assault on southern Israel in the first week of October. 

Stephen Flynn who represents the pro-Scottish Independence Scottish National Party (SNP) recently addressed the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, pondering, “Will he come to the Despatch Box unlike its predecessor predecessors, in relation to Middle East conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Syria, to lay out how far he is willing to go in relation to military action? 

“Because quite clearly, we need to understand his government’s strategy in this conflict. We cannot have an escalation which leads to further regional instability.” 

Yemen’s internationally recognised government applauded America’s recent move and have said that the militant group have been a thorn in the side of them since 2014 when they took control of vast swathes of the country through forceful action. 

A government minister, Muammar Al-Eryani,  said, “The international community is required to intensify pressure on the Houthi militia to force it to abandon its terrorist approach, engage seriously and in good faith in de-escalation efforts and bringing peace,”   

As well as a relatively satisfied Yemeni government, the classification of Houthis as a terror group was welcomed by human rights organisations within the country. 

BBC News/ Reuters 

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