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U.S. Sen. Daines seeks to designate Yemen’s Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization over Israel attacks

Following missile attacks on Israel by the Houthis of Yemen – also known as Ansarallah – and more intercepted by U.S. military units in the region in recent days, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced a bill last week to redesignate the group as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO)

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), and 12 Republican colleagues introduced the Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act to redesignate Ansarallah, more commonly known as the Houthis, as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) given their actions to destabilize the region, the security threat they pose to the U.S. and most recently, their involvement in the ongoing conflict in Israel, including attacks on Israel this week.

“If the Biden administration is serious about having Israel’s back, then the U.S. must designate Houthis for what they are, a foreign terrorist organization,” said Dr. Cassidy. “As terrorist organizations continue to wage war on Israel, we must stand with one of our greatest friend and ally.”

“The Biden administration needs to send a strong, decisive message to the Iranian regime that the U.S. will not stand idly by and watch Iran’s proxies try and destroy Israel. The unspeakable horrors that we have witnessed over the past several weeks have been at the hands of Iranian-backed terror groups. As the situation in Israel escalates and the Houthis insert themselves in the conflict, the U.S. must immediately redesignate the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization and enforce sanctions that will help strengthen our national security and weaken terrorist organizations,” said Senator Daines.

On October 19, 2023, the U.S.S. Carney intercepted both cruise missiles and UAVs launched from Yemen by the Houthis. Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the Houthis as an FTO on January 19, 2021. Approximately one month later, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken revoked the FTO designation of the Houthis.

 

 

 

“The Biden administration needs to send a strong, decisive message to the Iranian regime that the U.S. will not stand idly by and watch Iran’s proxies try and destroy Israel,” Daines said. “The unspeakable horrors that we have witnessed over the past several weeks have been at the hands of Iranian-backed terror groups. As the situation in Israel escalates and the Houthis insert themselves in the conflict, the U.S. must immediately redesignate the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization and enforce sanctions that will help strengthen our national security and weaken terrorist organizations.”

While the Houthis were designated as an FTO on Jan. 19, 2021, by the Trump administration, upon assuming office the Biden administration revoked the decision. Now, the Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act would about-face again.

Supplementing this, Daines also joined a letter from U.S. Sen. William Hagerty (R-TN) written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling for the same thing. Hagerty joined 12 other senators in supporting Daines’ bill as well.

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