Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 708 - Yemen War Mosaic 708

Yemen Press Reader 708: US-Außenminister Pompeo will die Houthis als Terroristen einstufen. Dies würde die Hilfe für Nordjemen (mit Gefahr einer Hungersnot) und Friedensverhandlungen blockieren
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

US Secretary of State Pompeo wants to classify the Houthis as terrorists. This would block aid to North Yemen (causing famine) and any peace negotiations

Inhalt / Contents

cp1 Artikel auf Deutsch / Articles in German

cp2 English: Hauptartikel / Main articles

cp3 English: Konsequenzen für die US-Politik / Consequences for US policy

cp4 English: Hungersnot befürchtet, Stellungnahmen von Hilfsorganisationen / Fear of famine, Statements of humanitarian NGOs

cp5 English: Reaktionen der Huthis, der Araber, im Ausland / Reactions by Houthis, Arabs, abroad

cp6 Propaganda

Klassifizierung / Classification

**

*

(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

cp1 Artikel auf Deutsch / Articles in German

(** A P)

USA wollen Huthi-Rebellen im Jemen auf die Terrorliste setzen

Der US-amerikanische Außenminister Pompeo nannte die Gruppe eine "tödliche, vom Iran unterstützte Miliz"

Kurz vor dem Amtsende von Präsident Donald Trump nimmt die scheidende US-Regierung einen Verbündeten des Iran im Jemen ins Visier. Außenminister Mike Pompeo teilte am Sonntagabend (Ortszeit) in Washington mit, er wolle die jemenitischen Huthi-Rebellen als Terrororganisation einstufen. Er werde den US-Kongress über die entsprechende Absicht informieren. Hilfsorganisationen warnten, der Schritt werde sich auf die ohnehin schon große humanitäre Not im Jemen auswirken.

Es gelte, die Huthi-Rebellen für deren auch grenzüberschreitenden terroristischen Aktivitäten zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen, erklärte Pompeo. Der Schritt solle zudem die Bemühungen um einen friedlichen, souveränen und geeinten Jemen stärken. Pompeo bezeichnete die Huthis als eine "tödliche, vom Iran unterstützte Miliz" in der Golfregion.

Jemens international anerkannte Regierung begrüßte die Ankündigung. Die Huthis verdienten diese Einstufung nicht nur wegen ihrer "terroristischen Aktivitäten", sondern auch, weil sie den Konflikt verlängerten und die weltweit größte humanitäre Katastrophe verursacht hätten, teilte das jemenitische Außenministerium mit. Die Rebellen wiederum verurteilten die geplante Einstufung als Terrororganisation. Die USA seien "die Quelle des Terrorismus", erklärte das hochrangige Führungsmitglied Mohammed al-Huthi.

Hilfsorganisationen warnten, die Einstufung der Huthis als Terrororganisation werde Folgen haben. Es werde noch schwerer werden, Lebensmittel und Medikamente in das Land zu bringen, erklärte der Norwegische Flüchtlingsrat. Nach Angaben der Organisation droht dem Land schon jetzt die weltweit schlimmste Hungersnot seit Jahrzehnten.

https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000123186048/usa-wollen-houthi-rebellen-im-jemen-auf-die-terrorliste-setzen?ref=rss

und auch https://www.dw.com/de/usa-setzen-huthi-rebellen-auf-terrorliste/a-56190583?maca=de-rss-de-top-1016-rdf

(** A B P)

UNO kritisiert geplante Einstufung von Huthi-Rebellen als Terrororganisation

Die Vereinten Nationen haben die Pläne der US-Regierung zur Einstufung der Huthi-Rebellen im Jemen als Terrororganisation scharf kritisiert. Die UNO warnte am Montag vor "schwerwiegenden" Auswirkungen für die internationale Krisenhilfe im Jemen. Zahlreiche Hilfsorganisationen und mehrere Oppositionspolitiker schlossen sich der Kritik an.

"Die Entscheidung wird wahrscheinlich schwerwiegende humanitäre und politische Auswirkungen haben", sagte UN-Sprecher Stéphane Dujarric. Er verwies auf lebensnotwendige Importe von Nahrungsmitteln und Hilfsgütern, auf die der Jemen nach sechs Jahren Krieg fast ausschließlich angewiesen sei.

Die Einstufung könnte Organisationen aus Angst vor einer Strafverfolgung durch die USA davon abhalten, mit den Huthi zu verhandeln. Um lebensnotwendige Güter einzuführen, haben Hilfsorganisationen jedoch häufig keine andere Wahl, als mit den Rebellen zu verhandeln, die die Hauptstadt Saana und große Teile des Nordens kontrollieren.

"Das ist reiner diplomatischer Vandalismus", sagte David Miliband, Präsident des International Rescue Committee (IRC). "Das Letzte, was das jemenitische Volk braucht, ist eine weitere Unterbrechung der Hilfs- und Wirtschaftsströme." Auch die Hilfsorganisation "Save the Children" teilte mit, die Maßnahmen kämen zu einem Zeitpunkt, wo "Millionen von Menschen im Land auf eine Hungersnot zusteuern".

Mehrere Oppositionspolitiker forderten Trump zu einer Rücknahme der Einstufung auf. Der Schritt sei "ein Todesurteil" für Tausende von Einwohnern, schrieb der demokratische Senator Chris Murphy im Kurzbotschaftendienst Twitter. Die Entscheidung werde "die humanitäre Hilfe abschneiden, Friedensgespräche fast unmöglich machen und den Iran stärken."

Auch die Huthi-Rebellen verurteilten die Einstufung als Terrorgruppe durch die USA. "Wir haben das Recht, darauf zu antworten", erklärte der Rebellen-Kommandeur Mohammed Ali al-Huthi im Kurzbotschaftendienst Twitter. "Das jemenitische Volk schert sich nicht um irgendeine Bezeichnung der Trump-Regierung", fügte er hinzu.

https://de.nachrichten.yahoo.com/usa-wollen-huthi-rebellen-terrorgruppe-082900637.html

(** A B P)

Bitterarmer Jemen wird zum Spielball der US-Außenpolitik

US-Regierung will Houthi-Rebellen auf Terrorliste setzen - humanitäre Folgen wären fatal.

Kurz vor seinem Abgang am 20. Jänner macht US-Präsident Donald Trump den bettelarmen Jemen zum Spielball seiner Außenpolitik. Laut Außenminister Mike Pompeo will die scheidende Administration die Houthi-Rebellen, die einen Großteil des Landes kontrollieren, als Terrororganisation einstufen.

Die Vereinten Nationen und humanitäre Helfer schlagen wegen der amerikanischen Pläne Alarm. Sollten die Houthi auf der US-Terrorliste landen, würde die Arbeit von Organisationen wie dem Welternährungsprogramm, Care, Oxfam oder dem UN-Flüchtlingshilfswerk dort schwierig bis unmöglich, heißt es.

"Ich könnte für schlichte humanitäre Hilfe kriminalisiert oder strafrechtlich verfolgt werden", sagte Sultana Begum, die für die Norwegische Flüchtlingshilfe (NRC) in Sanaa arbeitet, gegenüber der Deutschen Presse-Agentur. "Humanitäre Arbeit im Jemen könnte faktisch illegal werden." NRC und andere Organisationen müssen mit den Houthi verhandeln, um etwa Lebensmittel, Wasser oder Medizin ins Land bringen und um sich dort sicher bewegen zu können.

Auch der Strom von Geld, Benzin und Nahrung aus dem Ausland - der Jemen importiert 90 Prozent seiner Lebensmittel - könnte versiegen; eine Hungersnot wäre die Folge. Händler, Banken, Lieferanten und Versicherungen könnten ihre Geschäfte aus Sorge vor US-Sanktionen einstellen. Auch die für viele überlebenswichtigen Überweisungen von Verwandten, die als Arbeitsmigranten etwa in Saudi-Arabien leben, würden gekappt. Andere Staaten könnten ihre Hilfszahlungen ebenfalls aussetzen.

Es steht zu befürchten, dass Trump das alles wenig kümmert. Die USA sehen die Houthi als Handlanger des Iran, der nach US-Überzeugung mit einer Politik des "maximalen Drucks" in die Schranken gewiesen werden muss. Nach dem indirekten Eingeständnis seiner Wahlniederlage könnte Trump den Griff zur Terrorliste nutzen, um ein letztes Mal stark zu erscheinen. Und es wäre eine Art Abschiedsgeschenk an das verbündete Saudi-Arabien, das den Iran als Erzfeind betrachtet und das im Jemen gegen die Houthi kämpft.

Immerhin könnte die Terror-Einstufung dazu führen, dass das Vermögen der Houthi eingefroren und einige der Einnahmequellen für den brutalen Krieg ausgetrocknet werden. Der Konflikt würde dadurch aber nicht rasch beendet, sondern nur verlängert, schreiben die Analysten der International Crisis Group.

https://www.wienerzeitung.at/nachrichten/politik/welt/2087996-Keine-Hilfe-mehr-fuer-den-Jemen.html

(** B H P)

Trumps finaler Schlag gegen Iran trifft vor allem die Jemeniten

In letzter Minute will Trump noch die jemenitische Huthi-Miliz auf die Terrorliste setzen. Der Eindämmung Irans dient das kaum, doch für Jemen dürfte es katastrophale Konsequenzen haben. Biden sollte den Schritt umgehend rückgängig machen.

Die Trump-Regierung macht damit in letzter Minute wahr, wovor internationale Hilfsorganisationen seit Monaten warnen.

Sie befürchten, dass der Schritt die Lieferung von Medikamenten, Lebensmitteln und Treibstoff in die von den Huthi beherrschten Gebiete massiv erschweren wird. Denn wenn Hilfsorganisationen nicht ins Visier der USA geraten wollen, werden sie ihre Kontakte zu den Huthi abbrechen müssen. Für ein Land, in dem 80 Prozent der Bevölkerung auf Hilfe angewiesen sind, ist das fatal. Zwar hat Pompeo versprochen, begrenzte Ausnahmen für die Lieferung humanitärer Güter zu gewähren, doch sind Zweifel angebracht, dass dies ausreichen wird.

Auch im Fall Irans haben die USA humanitäre Güter von ihren Sanktionen ausgenommen, dennoch gelangen wichtige Medikamente kaum noch ins Land. Für Jemen, das seit Jahren in einer dramatischen humanitären Krise steckt, dürften die Folgen weit schlimmer sein.

Die Einstufung der Huthi-Bewegung als Terrororganisation ist ein finaler Schlag Trumps gegen Iran und ein letztes Geschenk an Saudiarabien, das die proiranische Miliz seit 2015 erbittert bekämpft. Der Schritt zeigt wieder einmal die geradezu pathologische Obsession der Trump-Regierung mit Iran. Der Kampf gegen das Regime in Teheran hat für Pompeo solche Bedeutung, dass er ihm alles unterordnet – auch das Leben von Millionen unschuldigen Jemeniten.

Dabei ist Irans Einfluss auf die offiziell Ansarallah genannte Bewegung längst nicht so gross, wie das die Saudi und die Amerikaner seit Jahren behaupten.

Das Vorgehen der Amerikaner ist kaum geeignet, das gesetzte Ziel zu erreichen. Denn den Rebellen dürfte es reichlich egal sein, wenn sie künftig keine Geschäfte mehr mit amerikanischen Banken und Firmen machen dürfen. Nicht zuletzt ist die Einstufung als Terrororganisation falsch, weil dies Verhandlungen und damit eine politische Lösung des Konflikts erschwert.

In dieser Situation den wichtigsten Gesprächspartner zum Terroristen zu erklären, ergibt wenig Sinn. Doch die amerikanische Iran-Politik folgt schon lange keiner realistischen konstruktiven Strategie mehr. Gerade in den letzten Monaten ging es Trump nur noch darum, seinem Nachfolger Joe Biden die Hände zu binden. Der neue Präsident sollte sich davon nicht beeindrucken lassen und die Huthi-Rebellen umgehend wieder von der schwarzen Liste streichen – von Ulrich von Schwerin

https://www.nzz.ch/meinung/jemen-die-einstufung-der-huthi-als-terrororganisation-ist-falsch-ld.1595807

(** B H P)

Pompeos Jemenvorstoß in der Kritik

Entgegen scharfen Warnungen wollen die USA die Huthis als Terrororganisation einstufen. Hilfsorganisationen sehen „diplomatischen Vandalismus“.

Seit Monaten haben Hilfsorganisationen vor dieser Entscheidung gewarnt.

Das Problem: Mit Jemen selbst hat die Entscheidung nur wenig zu tun; vielmehr ist sie Teil von Trumps Politik des „maximalen Drucks“ auf Iran. Teheran unterstützt die Huthis.

Hilfsorganisationen befürchten aber vor allem Folgen für die Menschen in Jemen. Sie warnen, dass eine Terrorlistung der Huthis ihre Arbeit vor Ort sowie die Auslieferung von Hilfsgütern in die Huthi-Gebiete weiter erschweren wird. Denn Banken und Versicherungen wickeln aus Angst vor US-Sanktionen künftig womöglich keine Geschäfte mehr mit Behörden ab, die von den Huthis kontrolliert werden.

„Lebensmittel und Medikamente nach Jemen zu bekommen – ein Land, das zu 80 Prozent von Importen abhängig ist – wird noch schwieriger werden“, teilte Mohamed Abdi von der Hilfsorganisation Norwegischer Flüchtlingsrat am Montag mit. David Miliband, Präsident der Hilfsorganisation International Rescue Committee, kritisierte die US-Entscheidung als „diplomatischen Vandalismus“.

„Diese Politik, die die Huthis in die Knie zwingen soll, wird in Wirklichkeit die Hilfsgemeinschaft und die internationale Diplomatie in die Knie zwingen“, teilte Miliband mit. Er sprach von einer Schande für die USA, die er für die „weitere Verelendung der Jemenit*innen“ mitverantwortlich machte. Insbesondere in Somalia habe die Erfahrung gezeigt, dass die Kosten von Terrorlistungen inmitten komplexer Konflikte in unschuldig verlorenen Leben gemessen werden können.

Die humanitäre Hilfe werde von dem Schritt nicht betroffen sein, verspricht dagegen Pompeo. Die USA planten weitere Schritte, um den „Einfluss“ der Rebellen auf „humanitäre Aktivitäten“ sowie Importe nach Jemen zu reduzieren. Außerdem werde es spezielle Genehmigungen für US-Behörden sowie für NGOs geben, die in Jemen – auch in den Huthi-Gebieten – humanitäre Hilfe leisten.

Als Begründung für die Einstufung der Huthis als Terrororganisation gab Pompeo an, die Gruppe habe „viele Menschen getötet“, trage zur Destabilisierung der Golfregion bei und behindere eine Lösung des Jemenkonflikts. Er warf ihnen außerdem vor, sich auf die Seite Irans geschlagen zu haben, des „weltweit führenden staatlichen Förderers von Terrorismus.“

Auch für „grenzüberschreitende Angriffe, welche die Zivilbevölkerung, die Infrastruktur und die kommerzielle Schifffahrt bedrohen“ machte Pompeo die Miliz verantwortlich.

„Wir machen uns keine Illusionen über die gefährlichen Aktionen der Huthis“, schrieb auch eine Gruppe US-amerikanischer Kongressmitglieder im Vorfeld der jüngsten Ankündigung Pompeos, „aber eine pauschale Einstufung (als Terrororganisation, d. Red.) wird die Risiken, die mit dem Transfer von humanitären Geldern nach Jemen verbunden sind, dramatisch erhöhen.“

Die Abgeordneten warnen vor „katastrophalen Auswirkungen“ und davor, dass die Terrorlistung der Huthis noch größeres Leid verursachen könnte, angesichts der Zahl der Menschen, die unter ihrer Gerichtsbarkeit stehen, sowie ihrer Kontrolle über staatliche Institutionen.“ Darüber hinaus befürchten die Abgeordneten eine „abschreckende Wirkung auf die Spendenbereitschaft internationaler Geber“

Neben Hilfsorganisationen und US-Abgeordneten hatten auch Deutschland und Schweden versucht, die US-Regierung von ihrer nun getroffenen Entscheidung abzubringen.

Die Huthis reagierten auf die jüngste US-Entscheidung indes mit einer Drohung. „Wir haben das Recht, darauf zu antworten“, schrieb der Rebellen-Kommandeur Mohammed Ali al-Huthi auf Twitter. „Amerika ist die Quelle des Terrorismus. Es ist direkt in die Tötung und das Aushungern des jemenitischen Volks involviert.“

Auch die von den Vereinten Nationen unterstützten Friedensverhandlungen zwischen den jemenitischen Kriegsparteien dürfte die Terrorlistung erschweren. Ein ausführliches, von den UN entworfenes Dokument liegt auf dem Tisch, das einen Weg hin zu einer friedlichen Lösung des Konflikts zeichnet. Die als „Joint Declaration“ bekannte Vereinbarung sieht Schritte vor, um die wirtschaftliche und humanitäre Lage auf Dauer zu verbessern.

https://taz.de/Huthi-Miliz-im-Jemen/!5742901/

(B P)

Pompeos Sabotage

Die Huthi als Terrororganisation: Der US-Außenminister will den außenpolitischen Handlungsspielraum des neuen Präsidenten Biden einschränken - Opfer sind die Menschen in Jemen.

Ihr Ziel ist es vor allem, den Bewegungsspielraum des designierten Präsidenten Joe Biden einzuengen.

Allerdings tragen Pompeos Last-Minute-Sanktionen, anders als er behauptet, nichts dazu bei, den Konflikt beizulegen, ebenso wenig wie die bisher bedingungslose Unterstützung für die Intervention Saudi-Arabiens in dem Konflikt. Im Gegenteil

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/meinung/jemen-pompeos-sabotage-1.5172263

und auch https://www.rheinpfalz.de/politik_artikel,-huthi-rebellen-zu-terroristen-erkl%C3%A4rt-problem-f%C3%BCr-biden-_arid,5155067.html (kostenpflichtig)

(* B P)

Jemens nächster Alptraum

Präsident Trump setzt die aufständischen Huthis auf die Terrorliste. Hilfsorganisationen warnen vor katastrophalen Folgen für die Menschen im Jemen

Um dem künftigen US-Präsidenten Joe Biden Steine in den Weg zu legen, hat die scheidende Trump-Regierung in Washington die aufständischen Huthi-Rebellen im Jemen zur Terrororganisation erklärt.

Damit soll es Biden erschwert werden, einen Ausgleich mit dem Iran zu suchen, dem wichtigsten Unterstützer der Huthis. Hilfsorganisationen befürchten eine Katastrophe. Denn wegen der Entscheidung der USA drohen ihnen künftig Strafen, wenn sie mit den Huthis die Lieferung von Lebensmitteln und Medikamenten in den Machtbereich der Rebellen vereinbaren.

„Wir haben seit Wochen davor gewarnt, dass die Folgen katastrophal sein können“, sagt Janti Soeripto, Präsidentin von Save the Children. Etwas vorsichtiger formuliert es Annabel Symington vom Welternährungsprogramm. Die Konsequenzen könne man noch nicht absehen. „Wichtig ist allerdings auf jeden Fall der ungehinderte Zugang zu den Bedürftigen.“

Die beteiligten Staaten sollten alles unterlassen, was die Lage weiter verschlimmere. Doch in der Nacht zum Montag tat der scheidende Außenminister Michael Pompeo das Gegenteil.

Dass Pompeo dies erst jetzt tut und einen Tag vor Bidens Amtsantritt am 20. Januar in Kraft setzen will, gehört zur Strategie der Trump-Regierung, den neuen Präsidenten auf eine harte Linie in der Iran-Politik festzulegen.

„Trump hinterlässt bewusst viele Baustellen für Biden, um ihm die Hände zu binden“, sagt Dirk Kunze, Regionaldirektor der Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für Nahost und Nordafrika. „Biden muss vieles erst einmal abräumen, um mit dem Iran Gespräche aufnehmen zu können.“ Selbst in Trumps Republikanischer Partei in Washington regt sich Unmut. Pompeos Entscheidung werde den Jemen noch weiter destabilisieren, kritisierte Senator Todd Young.

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/usa-erklaeren-huthis-zu-terroristen-jemens-naechster-alptraum/26790386.html

(* A P)

HUTHIS GELÜBDE AUF DIE US-EINSTUFUNG ALS “TERRORISTEN” ZU REAGIEREN

Die Ansar Allah-Bewegung im Jemen (besser bekannt als die Huthis) hat erklärt, dass sie bereit ist, auf jeden US-Schritt zu reagieren, der sie als terroristische Organisation deklariert.

“Amerika ist die Quelle des Terrorismus”, sagte Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, Mitglied des Obersten Politischen Rates des Jemen, am 11. Januar. “Die Politik und die Aktionen der Trump-Regierung sind terroristisch. Wir behalten uns das Recht vor, auf von der Trump-Administration oder jeder anderen Administration herausgegebene derartige Einstufung zu reagieren.“

https://de.southfront.org/huthis-gelubde-auf-die-us-einstufung-als-terroristen-zu-reagieren/

(A P)

EU und Uno kritisieren US-Entscheidung zu Huthi-Rebellen

Die Europäische Union und die Vereinten Nationen haben die US-Ankündigung, die jemenitischen Huthi-Rebellen als Terrororganisation einzustufen, verurteilt und vor negativen Folgen für die humanitäre Lage in dem Bürgerkriegsland gewarnt.

Die EU sei vor allem über die Auswirkungen auf die humanitäre Situation besorgt, berichtet die Deutsche Presse-Agentur unter Berufung auf einen Sprecher des EU-Außenbeauftragten Joseph Borell. Die UN-geführten Bemühungen für eine umfassende Lösung für den Jemen-Konflikt könnten durch die Entscheidung noch schwieriger werden, so der Sprecher des EU-Außenbeauftragten am Dienstag in Brüssel. Er betonte, dass die EU insbesondere über die Auswirkungen auf die humanitäre Situation besorgt sei. Die US-Entscheidung wird sich ihm zufolge wahrscheinlich störend auf die Hilfslieferungen der internationalen Gemeinschaft auswirken und die wirtschaftliche Krise verschärfen. Die EU bleibe überzeugt, dass nur eine „inklusive politische Lösung“ den Konflikt im Jemen beenden könne.

https://snanews.de/20210112/eu-uno-entscheidung-zu-huthi-rebellen-497417.html

(A P)

Sevim Dagdelen (Linke): Internationale Hilfe für Jemen statt Trumps Kriegseskalation

„Die Einstufung der Huthi-Rebellen als Terrororganisation durch die Trump-Regierung in den USA ist nichts anderes als politische Begleitmusik für den verbrecherischen Bombenkrieg der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten Kriegskoalition. Die Bevölkerung im Jemen braucht dringend internationale Unterstützung zur Abwendung einer katastrophalen Hungersnot und ein Ende der saudischen Luftangriffe“, erklärt Sevim Dagdelen, Obfrau der Fraktion DIE LINKE im Auswärtigen Ausschuss. Dagdelen weiter:

„Die Bundesregierung muss den Vorstoß von US-Präsident Donald Trump zur weiteren Destabilisierung im Nahen Osten zurückweisen und die militärische Unterstützung der USA für die Kopf-ab-Diktatur in Riad verurteilen.

https://www.linksfraktion.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/detail/internationale-hilfe-fuer-jemen-statt-trumps-kriegseskalation/

cp2 English: Hauptartikel / Main articles

(** A P)

State Department, Sec. Pompeo: Terrorist Designation of Ansarallah in Yemen

The Department of State will notify Congress of my intent to designate Ansarallah – sometimes referred to as the Houthis – as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity, pursuant to Executive Order 13224. I also intend to designate three of Ansarallah’s leaders, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim, as SDGTs.

These designations will provide additional tools to confront terrorist activity and terrorism by Ansarallah, a deadly Iran-backed militia group in the Gulf region. The designations are intended to hold Ansarallah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping.

The designations are also intended to advance efforts to achieve a peaceful, sovereign, and united Yemen that is both free from Iranian interference and at peace with its neighbors. Progress in addressing Yemen’s instability can only be made when those responsible for obstructing peace are held accountable for their actions.

The United States recognizes concerns that these designations will have an impact on the humanitarian situation in Yemen. We are planning to put in place measures to reduce their impact on certain humanitarian activity and imports into Yemen. We have expressed our readiness to work with relevant officials at the United Nations, with international and non-governmental organizations, and other international donors to address these implications. As part of this effort, simultaneously with the implementation of these designations on January 19, 2021 the U.S. Department of the Treasury is prepared to provide licenses pursuant to its authorities and corresponding guidance that relate to the official activities of the United States government in Yemen, including assistance programming that continues to be the largest of any donor and the official activities of certain international organizations such as the United Nations. The licenses and guidance will also apply to certain humanitarian activities conducted by non-governmental organizations in Yemen and to certain transactions and activities related to exports to Yemen of critical commodities like food and medicine. We are working to ensure that essential lifelines and engagements that support a political track and return to dialogue continue to the maximum extent possible.

The United States was the largest humanitarian donor to Yemen in 2020, providing $630 million in Fiscal Year 2020 humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people. American assistance has reached all corners of Yemen and has been used in critical program support for food, nutrition, hygiene, and for internally displaced people. The United States is also providing more than $18 million to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Yemen.

We need not look further than the callous attack targeting the civilian airport in Aden on December 30, in which the Houthis struck the arrival terminal killing 27 individuals, including three staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, to see the destruction the Houthis continue to inflict upon civilians and civilian infrastructure. The Yemeni and Saudi governments as well as multiple experts have directly tied this attack to Ansarallah.

If Ansarallah did not behave like a terrorist organization, we would not designate it as an FTO and SDGT. It has led a brutal campaign that has killed many people, continues to destabilize the region, and denies Yemenis a peaceful solution to the conflict in their country. Rather than distance itself from the Iranian regime, it has embraced the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism even more. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has supplied Ansarallah with missiles, drones, and training, allowing the group to target airports and other critical infrastructure. The Iranian regime continues to thwart the efforts of the United Nations and friendly countries to solve the crisis peacefully and end the conflict. The United States calls on the Iranian regime to stop smuggling weapons to Ansarallah in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and to stop enabling Ansarallah’s aggressive acts against Yemen and towards its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia. We have also worked through our partners in the region to urge Ansarallah to stop engaging in terrorist activities, including those involving attacks threatening civilian infrastructure in the region, as well as to cut off ties with IRGC officials and stop the practice of kidnapping, which has included the deaths and kidnappings of U.S. nationals.

The international community has collectively agreed through UN Security Council resolutions and in other fora that unilateral actions to take over the institutions of the legitimate Republic of Yemen Government are unacceptable and that a legitimate political transition – long sought by the Yemeni people – can be accomplished only through political negotiations. However, the political process has produced limited results over several years. This compels us to look for additional means by which to change the behavior of Ansarallah and its supporters in our search for peace and security in Yemen.

https://www.state.gov/terrorist-designation-of-ansarallah-in-yemen/

Film: https://twitter.com/RepYemenEnglish/status/1348942132430692353

My comment: All this has little to do with “terrorism” but is a tool of US geopolitics to secure world-wide US hegemony. This measure does not have much to do with Yemen, but aims at Iran. if actually anyone should be designed as “terrorists”, there would be much more sincere reasons to take the US government in the first place and Saudi Arabia in the second. Just as areminder, tour the city of Hajjah: https://twitter.com/AhmadAlgohbary/status/1348322347498037253

(** A P)

US designating Yemen’s Houthis a ‘terrorist’ group

With just 10 days left before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the announcement on Sunday could complicate the new US administration’s efforts to restart diplomacy with Iran

“It is significant move because it will undermine any future peace efforts, because if you designate someone as a terrorist organisation you won’t be able to negotiate with it any more,” Marwan Kabalan, director of policy analysis at the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, told Al Jazeera.

“Nobody recognises the Houthis as a legitimate government of Yemen but they are a very important party to the conflict in the country, so if there are no talks with the Houthis peace will be very difficult to achieve in the country.”

Aid groups, as well as members of Biden’s Democratic Party, have warned the move will severely impede efforts to address what the UN calls the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

Pompeo insisted the designations – which will come into effect a day before Biden takes office on January 19 – will not affect relief work.

“We are planning to put in place measures to reduce their impact on certain humanitarian activity and imports into Yemen,” Pompeo said.

“We have expressed our readiness to work with relevant officials at the United Nations, with international and non-governmental organisations and other international donors to address these implications.”

International relief officials have said such measures have often failed to unblock the flow of aid because banks and insurance companies are worried about running afoul of US sanctions, and this could also be the case with Yemen.

Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara said the terrorist designation would also complicate peace efforts by the Biden administration with Iran.

“Biden has already stated he wants some kind of détente with Iran, he wants to go back to the nuclear deal, he wants to pursue an Obama-type policy with Iran, and he wants the war in Yemen ended,” said Bishara.

“That’s a very important and a very good thing – even the Saudis and Emirates would like to see this war ended because everyone is losing, especially the Yemenis.”

On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry welcomed the move in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

“The ministry expressed its hope that the designation would … force the leaders of the Houthi militia backed by Iran to seriously return to the negotiating table,” the statement read.

It added that Riyadh hoped it would prevent the group from staging further attacks.

The United Arab Emirates also welcomed the move. The country’s minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter: “We welcome the US administration’s decision to classify the Houthi militia as a terrorist organisation, and to place its leaders on terrorist lists”.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/11/us-designating-yemens-houthis-a-terrorist-group

Film by Aljazeera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-njStPKjCzI

and also https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2021/01/yemen-fto-houthis-pompeo-terrorist-designation-aid-agencies.html

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-12/us-to-designate-yemen-houthis-terrorist-group-famine-fears/13050578

(** A P)

U.S. to designate Yemen's Houthi movement as foreign terrorist group

The outgoing U.S. administration is to designate Yemen’s Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization, a move the United Nations warned could undermine peace talks and make it harder to feed Yemenis enduring the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has been piling on sanctions related to Iran in recent weeks, suggesting to some that the Republican wants to make it harder for Democrat Joe Biden’s administration to re-engage with Iran and rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after he becomes president on Jan. 20.

For Biden to undo the designation would require a lengthy legal review, and he could also face political obstacles from Iran hardliners in Congress.

U.S. officials had a contentious briefing with congressional staff on Monday in which they were accused of lying to Congress and gave little information on how aid groups would provide food and other necessities to Yemen, congressional aides said.

Administration officials also did not make clear whether such licenses would allow the private sector, which provides the majority of food to Yemen, to keep doing so, the aides said.

One aide said a U.S. Agency for International Development official told those on the call that the move would have a “catastrophic” effect on Yemeni children.

He described the move as “a politically driven decision at the 11th hour ... without any consultation with the incoming administration about an issue that has serious ramifications for the people of Yemen ... and for our ability to help resolve the conflict.”

The outgoing U.S. administration is to designate Yemen’s Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization, a move the United Nations warned could undermine peace talks and make it harder to feed Yemenis enduring the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

https://www.reuters.com/article/yemen-security-usa-exclusive-int/exclusive-u-s-to-designate-yemens-houthi-movement-as-foreign-terror-group-as-soon-as-monday-sources-idUSKBN29G086

and also https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-12/us-to-designate-yemen-houthis-terrorist-group-famine-fears/13050578

Comment: Does it make a difference? They let it seize power in 2014. Was it a miscalculation? Never. They have been fighting it for six years? Have they defeated it? Never. What is the point then?

https://twitter.com/FuadRajeh/status/1348450004617338880

Comment: This potential terror designation is nothing but a political move to appease the Saudis as the Trump administration leaves office. The consequences for the Yemeni people, 80% of whom need aid to survive, would be nothing short of genocide.

https://twitter.com/shireen818/status/1348427927399051265

(** A P)

Huthis defiant as US brands Yemen rebels 'terrorists’

Yemen's Huthis were defiant Monday after the United States moved to brand the Iran-backed rebels as terrorists, a last-minute move in defiance of aid groups who fear it will tip the country into famine.

Unless Congress blocks the decision, the Huthis will be blacklisted on January 19 -- one day before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, whose aides had hoped to mount a fresh push to end Yemen's devastating six-year-old war.

"These policies represent a crisis in thinking and are to be condemned, and we have the right to respond," Huthi political commander Mohamed Ali al-Huthi said in a tweet.

"The Yemeni people don't care about any designation from (US President Donald) Trump's administration as it is a partner in killing Yemenis and starving them."

The designation is expected to scare away outside actors from many transactions with Huthi authorities, including bank transfers and buying food and fuel, for fear of US prosecution.

Aid groups have warned Pompeo against the blacklisting, saying they have no option but to deal with what is the de facto government in northern Yemen.

"The US government must ensure that any sanctions do not block food, fuel and medicines from entering a country already in the middle of a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe," the Norwegian Refugee Council's Yemen director Mohamed Abdi said in a statement.

Analysts warn of disastrous consequences after the UN World Food Programme said in December that malnutrition had reached record levels, narrowing the window of opportunity to prevent a famine.

Peter Salisbury, senior Yemen analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the designation "risks collectively punishing all Yemenis by precipitating a famine while doing little to hurt the Huthis other than pushing them closer to Iran".

"If the impact of this designation is half as bad as has been predicted it is millions of ordinary Yemenis who are struggling to eat who will pay the price, while already distant prospects of peace slip away."

Under US law, Congress has seven days in which it can object to a designation of a foreign terrorist group.

But it will likely be focused on other issues, as the House of Representatives looks at impeaching Trump for a second time after he encouraged a mob that stormed the Capitol last week to disrupt a session that certified Biden's election win.

Lawmakers from Biden's Democratic Party have told Pompeo the designation would both jeopardise aid and peace efforts.

"This designation would almost certainly prevent the critical delivery of food, medical supplies and other items necessary to combat both Covid-19 and famine," three senators said in a joint appeal last year.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/defying-humanitarian-warnings-pompeo-brands-yemen-s-huthis-as-terrorists/article/583681 = https://www.sbs.com.au/news/yemen-s-houthis-decry-us-move-to-brand-them-terrorists

(** B P)

FYI Trump’s Latest Yemen Move Is Far Worse Than The Capitol Riot

While the Capitol riot is being hysterically compared to Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht by the political/media class, the Trump administration has done something far, far worse that is receiving far, far less attention.

We are already seeing some effects of this designation.

We are ceasing all operations in the United States for the time being, as well as putting a temporary halt to our intended plans for humanitarian fundraising.

Let it be known that the Trump Administration just criminalized foreign humanitarian aid to #Yemen. pic.twitter.com/uUDEgEu9hP

— Yemen Solidarity Council (@YSCouncil) January 11, 2021

Antiwar's Dave DeCamp reports the following:

The terror designation will hamper the efforts of international charities that deliver food to Houthi-controlled areas, where 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives and malnutrition is the most widespread.

Aid agencies fear their work in north Yemen will now be criminalized since the Houthis are the authority they have to deal with and make transactions with. US terror designations open up sanctions on any individuals or entities that do business with those Washington brands as terrorists.

Pompeo said exemptions would be made for humanitarian goods. But any additional roadblocks for aid agencies will cause more suffering in Yemen since the situation is so dire. “Even with exemptions, the operation will be compromised,” said Janti Soeripto, the president of Save the Children, according to AP News.

This move is quantifiably far, far worse than anything Trump could possibly have done to incite the Capitol riot, as it will kill far, far more people, yet the mass media fixate on one news story while virtually ignoring the other. This is because the Capitol riot story feeds into partisan narratives and manufactures consent for authoritarian domestic terrorism laws, while the Yemen story highlights the depravity of US imperialism. The plutocrat-owned media does not exist to give you a truthful representation of the world, it exists to keep the wheels of the empire rolling along.

There's a weird taboo against saying some things are worse than other things, especially when it involves things the mass media tell us are of cataclysmic significance. People shriek "Why are you minimizing the Capitol raid??" and "Why are you comparing them! It's not a pissing contest!" This is stupid. All things are not equal to other things, and figuring out the ways in which news coverage is disproportionate and not reflective of reality is a very important part of making sense of the world.

So now Americans are being fed a steady diet of narratives about the threat Trump's radicalized base poses to people of color, while ignoring the fact that Trump is currently implementing policies which facilitate the butchery of people of color. Only difference is the latter is hidden behind geographical remoteness, and is far more egregious.

It matters that the mass media do not cover news stories with an accurate degree of proportion. It matters that they keep the public's gaze diverted from the horrors of empire while radically distorting their sense of reality. This isn't some idle "contrarian take". This matters.

In the last couple of centuries we've progressed all the way from expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while saying racist things to expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while condemning racism. The murder hasn't changed, and the racism hasn't really changed either. All that's changed is the norms of how it is put into practice.

This matters – by Caitlin Johnstone

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/01/12/fyi-trumps-latest-yemen-move-is-far-worse-than-the-capitol-riot/ = https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2101/S00017/fyi-trumps-latest-yemen-move-is-far-worse-than-the-capitol-riot.htm = https://www.rt.com/op-ed/512290-caitlin-johnstone-trump-yemen-capitol/ 0 https://ahtribune.ca/us/trump-at-war/4529-trump-yemen-move.html

(** B H P)

A Malevolent Decision That Will Kill Countless Yemenis

The Trump administration is moving ahead with the disastrous decision to label the Houthis a foreign terrorist organization.

The effect that this decision will have on the civilian population is horrifying to contemplate. That is why international aid organizations, the U.N., and virtually everyone that has been following the conflict in Yemen have been pleading with the Trump administration not to do this. It would be an exceptionally cruel and destructive act, and it also makes no sense on the merits.

We cannot forget about the ongoing disaster that our government’s support for the war on Yemen has created, and with this terrorist designation the U.S. is set to make an already appalling humanitarian crisis so much worse. Because most of Yemen’s population lives in Houthi-controlled territory, and the Houthis function as the de facto government, a terrorist designation amounts to full-on economic warfare against the people of Yemen. The FTO designation is the harshest measure that Pompeo could choose, and it shows that he is aiming for causing maximum harm for its own sake.

Yemen was already suffering from a reduction in imports last year as a result of the mere discussion of a Houthi designation. According to the U.N. humanitarian aid chief, imports dropped by 25% in November when reports first started circulating that this might happen

Now that the designation is going to happen, imports into Yemen will collapse because of restrictions on doing business with anyone tied to the Houthis and because of overcompliance by businesses and banks.

The Foreign Policy report characterizes this as a “victory” for Pompeo’s “anti-Iran strategy,” but like all other so-called Pompeo victories this one is empty and comes at a high price in the blood and suffering of innocent people. Designating the Houthis doesn’t hurt Iran in the slightest, but it will kill countless innocent Yemeni civilians as outside aid and trade are cut off. We know from other sanctions regimes that it is the sick, the poor, children, and the elderly that suffer most from these policies. The Houthis may be inconvenienced, but the designation will only make them more determined to fight on and reject any possible compromise. By labeling them as terrorists, the U.S. will be making it practically impossible for other parties to the conflict to negotiate with them. The war that the Saudi coalition and its proxies cannot win by fighting will drag on to the detriment of all except for the extremists and jihadists that have flourished in the chaos of the last six years. It is one of the grim absurdities of current Yemen policy that helping the Saudis to wage war on the Houthis has only strengthened the jihadist groups that actually threaten U.S. interests, and now the Trump administration is labeling the Houthis as terrorists when they have never posed and cannot pose a threat to the U.S.

The Trump administration has been warned many times for months that this designation is a terrible mistake that will kill tens of thousands if it is allowed to stand. Their decision to press ahead with such a cruel policy when they know what it will do to the civilian population is nothing less than malevolent. The incoming Biden administration must reverse this decision as soon as possible to limit the damage, and they need to announce their intention to do so as soon as the designation is made – by Daniel Larison

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/state-of-the-union/a-malevolent-decision-that-will-kill-countless-yemenis/

(** B P)

Pompeo, as a favor to Saudi Arabia and Israel, is committing a crime against humanity in Yemen

Pompeo’s declaration will have no impact on the Houthis themselves. It will, however, as the New York Times explains, “chill humanitarian efforts to donate food and medicine to Houthi-controlled areas in northern and western Yemen, where a majority of the country’s 30 million people live.” Relief groups will hesitate to keep working in those areas, “for fear the aid will be seized by rebels and used for profit that could be traced back to aid organizations.”

Again, the Houthi movement in Yemen has not threatened the United States or our citizens in any way. So why the “terrorist” designation? Most obviously, the Trump family’s great friend, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed, wanted it. (The mainstream media won’t say this openly, but the ties between the Trump family and the Crown Prince are quite possibly lubricated by large sums of Saudi money, used to prop up, for instance, Jared Kushner’s tottering real estate holdings.)

Israel is also surely delighted over the Houthi terrorist designation, although the mainstream media left out this part of the story. So far, there’s no official Israeli statement, but the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington think tank, is a front for Israel, and an FDD staffer took immediately to Twitter last night to offer a tortured justification for Pompeo’s inhuman move.

Israel (and Saudi Arabia) oppose the Houthis because the rebel movement is backed by Iran, which they regard as their regional enemy. (The experts question the true extent and value of Iranian support, and argue the Houthis don’t actually need it.) Both nations have tried to goad Iran into a conflict with the U.S., but Trump’s time in power runs out in 9 days.

Even so, Pompeo has left an improvised explosive device behind for the Biden administration: either reverse the designation, and be smeared as “pro-terrorist” by the Israel lobby and others, or leave it in effect — in a nation where already “nearly half of all children suffer stunted growth because of malnutrition.” – by James North

https://mondoweiss.net/2021/01/pompeo-as-a-favor-to-saudi-arabia-and-israel-is-committing-a-crime-against-humanity-in-yemen/

(B P)

A reminder, Film: This video shows how terrorist designation has been a joke especially under #Trump Pompeo @SecPompeo. It is driven by corruption & hatred.

https://twitter.com/AliAlAhmed_en/status/1348614895424712707

cp3 English: Konsequenzen für die US-Politik / Consequences for US policy

(** B P)

Experts react: The United States designates Houthi rebels as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

On January 11, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will designate Yemen’s Houthi rebel group Ansar Allah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The designation will also include labeling three Ansar Allah leaders—Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, and Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi—as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).

The move is intends to hold Ansar Allah “accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping.” The State Department is following through with the designation despite warnings from United Nations (UN) officials and aid organizations that the blacklisting will further contribute to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, noting that it intends to put measures in place to minimize the impact of the move on imports and humanitarian aid headed to the country.

Below, Atlantic Council experts react to the designation and what it means for the wider region.

Jump to an expert reaction:

Kirsten Fontenrose: Ansar Allah must be held accountable by the international community

Tom Warrick: A reminder to overhaul pre-9/11 laws

Barbara Slavin: The Houthi designation is about spite, not strategy

Nabeel Khoury: A move that ties Joe Biden’s hands

Carmiel Arbit: The designation is controversial because of the messenger

Marc Sievers: The US action does more harm than good

Mohsen Tavakol: Why the blacklisting is not a big concern for Iran

The Houthi designation is about spite, not strategy

“Like so many of this administration’s actions, the designation of the Houthis reeks of spite—not strategy. Angered that US support for the Saudis has not led to a Houthi defeat, Pompeo has taken an action that is likely to prolong the terrible war in Yemen at the cost of many more lives. Despite claims that the United States can still facilitate humanitarian aid, the designation will make it even harder to get food and medicine to ordinary Yemenis. This is also a further abuse of the State Department’s power to designate countries, organizations, and individuals as ‘terrorist(s).’ Always in part political, the designation process has now deteriorated to the point of farce since the targets are invariably chosen because of their hostility to the United States—or closeness to US adversaries such as Iran—rather than because of their purported ‘terrorist’ acts.” - by Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

A move that ties Joe Biden’s hands

“The eleventh-hour designation by the outgoing Trump administration is reckless and ties the hands of the incoming Biden administration.”

“Morally, the Houthis are not angels, but nor is any other player in the Yemen war. The Arab coalition has been reprimanded several times by Congress and by the UN for the bombardment of civilian areas in Yemen. The militias sponsored by the UAE, in particular, have been investigated and reprimanded for their human-rights violations.”

“Politically, the designation makes no sense—if the goal of US diplomacy is peace in Yemen and the region. The Biden administration has every intention of using US diplomacy to try to end the war. The decision will tie the incoming administration’s hands as it will have to try to reverse the decision, which is not an easy thing to do, or to justify to Congress why it wants to deal with the Houthis despite the designation.”

“Additionally, the decision feeds into the hands of the hardliners within the Houthi organization and makes it difficult for their leadership to engage in peace talks. It is also possible that the decision might encourage the Hadi government and the Arab coalition to try to press this war, already in its sixth year, to the bitter end, further devastating the people of Yemen.” - by Nabeel Khoury, nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Middle East programs.

https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/experts-react-the-united-states-designates-houthi-rebels-as-a-foreign-terrorist-organization/

(* A B P)

The ugly booby traps Pompeo is setting for Biden

SECRETARY OF State Mike Pompeo has been engaged in an unseemly campaign of grandstanding on his way out of office, littering his official Twitter account with political slogans and boasts of his accomplishments. Now, his self-serving theatrics are threatening to turn lethal. Over the weekend, Mr. Pompeo unveiled a flurry of 11th-hour measures eliminating decades-old restrictions on diplomatic contacts with Taiwan and slapping terrorism designations on Cuba and Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

All three actions will create messes for the incoming Biden administration to clean up — but none more so than the Yemen measure, which international aid officials say could tip the war-torn country into famine.

The U.S. designation of the Houthis could greatly complicate the delivery of aid, by threatening with sanctions organizations that do business with the group. Mr. Pompeo said waivers and licenses would be granted to those involved in aid delivery. But as The Post’s John Hudson and Missy Ryan reported, those exemptions have yet to be finalized. And they may not be enough for banks or other private companies that finance or supply the operations.

Mr. Pompeo justified the Houthi designation by citing missile attacks on Saudi civilian targets, such as airports and oil facilities. But the Saudis prompted those strikes with the systematic bombing of schools, mosques and markets in Houthi areas — attacks that independent investigations have concluded may constitute war crimes. Far from faulting the Saudi regime, Mr. Pompeo circumvented congressional action meant to prevent U.S. support for the bombing campaign.

The only way to end the war and the humanitarian emergency in Yemen is through a peace settlement, which the designation of the Houthis as terrorists will impede. It’s telling that Mr. Pompeo’s measure will take effect on Jan. 19, the day before he and the Trump administration leave office. Mr. Pompeo will not have to deal with its effects: He is explicitly leaving a land mine for the Biden administration, which does not share his zeal to indulge the Saudis.

Mr. Pompeo’s other measures have a similar booby-trap quality.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/the-ugly-booby-traps-pompeo-is-setting-for-biden/2021/01/12/115a7ac6-5435-11eb-a08b-f1381ef3d207_story.html

(* B P)

On the way out the door, Pompeo leaves a Yemen poison pill for the new administration

Aside from placating Gulf partners, the rationale for designating the Houthis remains unclear. There is little reason to believe that it will affect the Houthis, who have little international presence outside of their relations with Iran, or their ability to sustain their military campaign in Yemen. The administration may also see this as one of their last opportunities to undercut Iran, although it’s difficult to see that it will have much impact on the Iranians either.

The administration insists that it will ensure that the designation will not affect the ability of humanitarian organizations to continue their critically important operations in Yemen, including the areas under Houthi control in which 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives. But the concern is that the secondary and tertiary order effects will nevertheless undermine those operations.

Perversely, these actions may, in the end, serve primarily the interests of Yemen’s robust smuggling networks, including the many Houthis who are benefitting from Yemen’s war economy.

In the end, the eleventh-hour decision to designate the Houthis may serve as another pointless exercise in Trumpian performance art — broadly meaningless and of little relevance except to the innocent bystanders who it will harm - by Gerald M. Feierstein, ex-US ambassador to Yemen

https://www.mei.edu/blog/monday-briefing-way-out-door-pompeo-leaves-yemen-poison-pill-new-administration

and

(* A P)

Ex-US Envoy to Yemen: Designation of Houthi Ansarullah as Terrorist Group 'A Big Mistake'

Former US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein slammed the administration of President Donald Trump for its decision to designate the Houthi Ansarullah movement as a terrorist group, stating that this move is "a big mistake" with no importance to Iran or the Houthis.

The US administration will designate Yemen's Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization in a move that diplomats, members of Congress and international aid groups fear could further inflame the situation on the ground, upend UN peace talks, and likely to severely worsen the war-torn country’s humanitarian crisis.

"It's a big mistake," Feierstein told CNN on Monday.

"It mostly is a problem for the US government more than for the Houthis," the former envoy added.

"The Houthis will be more or less unaffected by this. Obviously, Iran doesn't care whether we designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization or not," he said.

"But it does make it much more complicated for the US government to play a positive role in helping to resolve the conflict," he continued.

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/13991023000704/Ex-US-Envy-Yemen-Designain-f-Hhi-Ansarllah-as-Terrris-Grp-

(* A P)

US lawmakers urge quick reversal on 'terrorist' branding of Yemen Huthis

Key US lawmakers on Monday urged a quick reversal of outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's branding of Yemen's Huthis as a terrorist group, saying he had worsened a humanitarian crisis.

"The designation of the Huthis as a terrorist organization is a death sentence for thousands of Yemenis", said Senator Chris Murphy, a prominent member of President-elect Biden's Democratic Party.

"It will cut off humanitarian aid, make peace talks nearly impossible and empower Iran. Biden should reverse this policy on day one," he wrote on Twitter.

"No solution in Yemen will be sustainable unless the Huthis are involved. By designating the Huthi organization as a foreign terrorist organization, the Trump administration is only pushing a political solution to the conflict further out of reach," said Representative Gregory Meeks, the Democrat who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Meeks urged a "speedy reversal" but warned: "Even if the designation were to be reversed quickly by the Biden administration, the damage will be done."

Senator Todd Young, a Republican who has broken with outgoing President Donald Trump on Yemen, said that Pompeo's move "will further destabilize a war-torn country" and block aid groups from delivering vital relief.

"I look forward to working with President-elect Biden and his team to overturn this misguided decision."

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-9135061/US-lawmakers-urge-quick-reversal-terrorist-branding-Yemen-Huthis.html

and also https://www.axios.com/pompeo-yemen-terror-designation-congress-call-ba82245d-7976-4abb-b74d-41b9bec4eec5.html

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/533730-lawmakers-push-back-on-late-trump-terror-designation-for-yemens

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2021/01/house-senate-democrats-republicans-trump-houthi-terrorist.html

https://t.co/QIXhKZCLO9?amp=1 (NYT)

(** A P)

‘Stop F—ing Lying’: Congress, Trump Officials in Heated Exchange Over Terrorism Designations

Congressional overseers are livid that the administration made major policy changes without prior formal consultations.

Congressional staffers exploded at Trump administration briefers in an expletive-laden phone call on Monday morning after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo moved to designate Yemen’s Houthi movement as a terrorist organization and moved forward with plans to relist Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to sources briefed on the conversation.

The call, which included the State Department’s top official on Yemen, Timothy Lenderking, sparked protests from both Republican and Democratic staffers angered by the administration’s failure to engage Congress on the designations in advance.

Staffers on the call said they’d “never heard staff drop f-bombs on an official call like this,” according to a source briefed on the call. At points, staff interjected and interrupted the briefers and accused the department of misleading Congress.

“You need to stop fucking lying to Congress,” one staffer snapped, according to two sources familiar with the call, when they pressed administration officials on why they hadn’t briefed Congress in the months leading up to the designation. Foreign Policy first reported that the designation was imminent in November 2020.

The statute for designating new terrorist organizations requires the White House to notify Congress of its intent to designate foreign terrorist organizations at least seven days in advance. Congressional aides noted that the department sent its notice on the briefing within hours of Pompeo issuing his announcement.

During the call, described to Foreign Policy by multiple Congressional sources, other staffers pointedly asked administration officials how many Yemeni children were going to die because of the designation, accusing the administration of using the designation to play politics.

“On Yemen no one could point to a single positive concrete action coming as a result of the designation,” said one aide.

A senior diplomat familiar with the matter said that most of the assistance provided by the United Nations and aid groups touches national institutions now run by the Houthis, exposing them to possible sanctions and legal hoops to jump through to obtain exemptions to continue their work unhindered.

Proponents of the designation have cheered Pompeo’s decision, arguing the move will hold to account the Houthis for attacks that threaten the civilian population while working with Iran to undercut peace efforts in Yemen.

Critics, including Democratic lawmakers, said the move will further undermine the peace process between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi movement. Some U.S. and diplomatic officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, agree with that analysis.

“The Houthis will almost certainly now have nothing to do with a recognized peace process,” the senior diplomat said. “Everything becomes untransparent.”

The decision caps months of hard-fought debate within the State Department, which had gone back and forth about a potential designation, with Pompeo and former U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook seen as a strong backers of plans to punish the Houthi group, two sources familiar with the matter told Foreign Policy. Supporters thought the move would help the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran. But around the time the memo to authorize the designation was set to move forward, Hook left the Iran post and was replaced in August 2020 by Elliott Abrams, who pushed back on the move, believing it would push the Houthis closer to Iran.

Talks briefly fell by the wayside, as the agency was busy dealing with issues on Capitol Hill, but Pompeo appeared to revive momentum for the designation ahead of a post-election trip to the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in November 2020, with expectations he could announce the move in Riyadh. The United Nations even pulled American staffers out of northern Yemen in anticipation of retaliatory attacks, but the State Department held off, a move that appeared designed to help give the Saudis leverage to eke out a cease-fire deal with the rebel group.

“I don’t think it has much impact on the Houthis at all,” said Gerald Feierstein, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen during the Obama administration and now a senior vice president at the Middle East Institute. “They don’t have any international presence at all except for the relationship with Iran. They don’t have international bank accounts, they don’t have property overseas, [and] they’re completely reliant on Iran for their military support. For them, it’s a big zero, it’s a nothing.”

“It’s a nothing for Iran as well, what do they care if the U.S. designates one more of their affiliated organizations,” Feierstein added. “As far as I’m concerned, the only people that are going to be damaged by this are innocent Yemenis.” – by Jack Detsch, Robbie Gramer

https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/01/11/trump-congress-briefing-terrorism-designations-yemen-cuba-pompeo-state-department/

(* A P)

Biden faces calls to reverse labelling of Yemen's Houthis as terrorists

US lawmakers slam Trump administration's designation as 'a death sentence' for ordinary Yemenis and urge president-elect to overturn decision when he takes office

The designation will now move to Congress, which has until 19 January to block it, one day before Biden's inauguration.

Still, the UN warned on Monday that the plan was "likely to have serious humanitarian and political repercussions".

In a press briefing, UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric said the international body was "concerned that the designation may have a detrimental impact on efforts to resume the political process in Yemen, as well as to polarise even more the positions of the parties to the conflict".

The same concerns have been shared by Win Without war, a grassroots organisation advocating a progressive national security policy, who have said the designation "is nothing more than a cynical, last-ditch attempt to prevent the Biden administration from reversing Trump’s disastrous Yemen and Iran policies".

"This decision is a devastating blow to the prospects of peace and a reckless instigation of further suffering in what is already the world’s largest humanitarian crisis," it said in a statement.

"Perhaps most importantly, however, designating the Houthis will only further restrict already-insufficient flows of humanitarian aid to a country that is experiencing overlapping famines and medical crises."

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/11/biden-faces-calls-to-reverse-houthi-terrorist-group-designation = https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/yemen-houthis-terrorist-group-biden-reverse-trump-administration-designation

(A P)

Sen. Chris Murphy: The designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization is a death sentence for thousands of Yemenis. It will cut off humanitarian aid, make peace talks nearly impossible, and empower Iran. Biden should reverse this policy on day one.

https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1348659311149522945

and

(A P)

Sen. Chris Murphy: A little noticed decision by Mike Pompeo Sunday may result in tens of thousands dying of starvation and also a massive oil spill 4 times bigger than the Valdez. 1/ A THREAD of the mind blowing insanity of Pompeo's decision to name Yemen's Houthis as a terrorist group.

The Houthis are bad guys. They target civilians. They steal food aid. But they aren't what we would traditionally consider a "terrorist group". They are using barbaric tactics in the conduct of war. But so are the Saudis. They intentionally target civilians too.

Only food aid keeps people alive in Yemen. But humanitarian organizations can't work in areas of countries controlled by terrorist organizations. Now, these programs will shut down in areas of Yemen controlled by the Houthis.

Gets worse. Commercial food importers will not send food into the same areas. Yemen imports almost all its food. So the designation is essentially a death sentence for millions. No humanitarian food. No commercial food.

Gets worse. The only way to achieve a political settlement is for the U.S. and the UN to broker a settlement between Houthis and the Saudis. But by law, the U.S. can't talk to terrorist groups, and frankly, the Houthis won't talk now anyway. They've been backed into a corner.

Finally, there's no upside. At all. Pompeo says it will send the Houthis a message. What? The State Dept. briefing today was a disaster. They had no answers for how this will drive Houthis to the negotiating table. No answers for how to prevent starvation.

https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1348989315301470209

(A P)

Sen. Todd Young: Today’s decision by @SecPompeo to declare the Houthi movement in Yemen as a terrorist organization is yet another misstep in the United States’ years long misguided approach to the conflict in Yemen.

https://twitter.com/SenToddYoung/status/1348659167020670976

and

(A P)

Young Condemns Houthi Designation in Yemen

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) released the below statement regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to designate the Houthi movement in Yemen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Senator Young has previously cautioned against this designation.

“Our foreign policy approach in Yemen should be governed by two overarching questions: First, are we living up to our principles by helping to ease the suffering of the innocent in Yemen? Second, are we helping to advance our national security by taking steps to end, rather than exacerbate, the conflict?

“Today’s decision by Secretary Pompeo to designate the entire Houthi movement in Yemen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization accomplishes neither.

“I believe that this designation will further destabilize a war torn country, which is already the home of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, cut off our ability to continue negotiations toward peace, and will force the many NGOs in Yemen to stop providing lifesaving assistance in the country.

“This designation comes at the worst possible time as it will prevent the critical delivery of food, medical supplies, and other items necessary to combat both COVID-19 and famine.

https://www.young.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/-young-condemns-houthi-designation-in-yemen

(* B P)

[NEW THREAD by Dave Harden]: Yemen, Middle East, NatSec Watchers - Here is further analysis of Pompeo’s designation of the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization but within the context of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (NDAA) which became law on Jan 1, 2021.

In summary, NDAA Section 1295 requires that the Secretary of State (in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence) submit a report on US policy in Yemen by May 3, 2021.

Bottom line: By May 3, Biden’s foreign policy team will be required by law to review its entire Yemen policy and submit its findings to Congress. The FTO designation comes into effect on Jan 19.

Given all of the challenges in America right now, Yemen is not a top priority. But, the NDAA now makes Yemen a priority precisely as a result of Pompeo’s designation.

The simplest course: Incoming Secretary of State @ABlinken (or the acting Sec'y) can pause the FTO designation on Jan 20 pending an interagency review and the report to Congress. This approach would delay the FTO implementation for 100 days and allow a considered strategy.

https://twitter.com/Dave_Harden/status/1349015235135471616

cp4 English: Hungersnot befürchtet, Stellungnahmen von Hilfsorganisationen / Fear of famine, Statements of humanitarian NGOs

(** B H P)

'Wanton Cruelty': Pompeo to Declare Houthis a Terrorist Group, Sparking Fears of Worsening Famine in Yemen

Oxfam called the designation "a counter-productive and dangerous policy that will put innocent lives at risk."

Advocates for a more just U.S. foreign policy on Monday denounced Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision to designate Yemen's Houthis as a terrorist group, a move that progressives say will disrupt the ability of humanitarian agencies to provide life-saving aid in an effort to alleviate widespread civilian suffering generated by the U.S.-backed Saudi regime's assault on the country.

In a statement released Monday, Oxfam criticized Pompeo's decision to label the Houthis a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" (FTO), calling it a "counter-productive and dangerous policy that will put innocent lives at risk."

"This designation will not help to resolve the conflict or provide justice for the violations and abuses committed during the war," Oxfam continued. "It will only compound the crisis for millions of Yemenis fighting for their survival."

Win Without War policy director Kate Kizer on Monday condemned the Trump administration for "levying baseless terrorism designations on the Houthis in Yemen," describing the move as "nothing more than a cynical, last-ditch attempt to prevent the Biden administration from reversing Trump's disastrous Yemen and Iran policies."

"This decision is a devastating blow to the prospects of peace, and a reckless instigation of further suffering in what is already the world's largest humanitarian crisis," Kizer added.

A number of analysts warned in the final two months of 2020 that a terrorist designation for the Houthis, which Pompeo was considering at the time, would "make an already difficult situation worse," in the words of Brookings Institution

U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus claimed that Pompeo's move "will further isolate terrorists in Yemen while the United States takes available steps to facilitate continued humanitarian aid." But Oxfam countered that "given the far-reaching nature of terrorism designations, the humanitarian response and economy in Yemen will be drastically impacted."

Although the State Department announced that the U.S. is preparing "to work with relevant officials at the United Nations, with international and non-governmental organizations, and other international donors to address" the devastating humanitarian implications of the FTO designation, the Post reported that Pompeo is proceeding before having finalized the licenses and guidance that would permit the continued delivery of aid.

"If true, it is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible decision," said Refugees International vice president Hardin Lang, one of many critics who are sounding the alarm that the Trump administration's actions are likely to undermine the flow of aid and intensify suffering.

The mere threat of a designating the Houthis as terrorists caused food imports in the country to drop by 25% in November, according to U.N. Under-Secretary Mark Lowcock.

The State Department's decision is "terrible news for Yemen," Annelle Sheline, a Middle East research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said on Sunday night. "The Saudi-led blockade has already resulted in mass starvations," Sheline said. "Eighty percent of the population live under Houthi control. The designation will prevent aid organizations from delivering desperately needed food."

Characterizing Houthis as terrorists will exacerbate "an already shocking level of hunger in Yemen," Human Rights Watch researcher Afrah Nasser explained on Monday. As a result of the Trump administration's latest actions, Nasser added, the U.S. "risk[s] complicity in hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths."

According to Lang, "the litmus test for U.S. policy on Yemen is simple: does it help end the conflict, or keep alive the millions of suffering Yemenis? The designation fails on both counts."

Oxfam pointed out that there are "many options available for identifying and punishing terrorists," but the route pursued by the Trump administration "is by far the most severe—and the most deadly for Yemeni families. It will block U.S. humanitarian aid, goods, and personnel from entering northern Yemen, where 70% of the population lives, and substantially reduce them throughout the rest of the country."

"The consequences will be felt acutely across a country also hit hard by extreme hunger, cholera and Covid-19, as banks, businesses, and humanitarian donors become unwilling or unable to take on the risk of operating in Yemen," Oxfam noted. "Every day these designations remain in place will compound the suffering of Yemen's most vulnerable families."

Foreign policy analysts and humanitarian groups urged President-elect Joe Biden to immediately reverse the Trump administration's designation of the Houthis as terrorists. "In this instance," said Oxfam, "acting 'on day one' cannot be only a figure of speech, as lives hang in the balance."

Sheline noted that "people are going to die as a result of this, even if Biden lifts the designation as soon as he comes to office."

Drawing attention to the timing of Pompeo's move, Suzanne Maloney, vice president and director of foreign policy at Brookings, said Monday that "Trump's foreign policy will end as it began: with wanton cruelty and disastrous fallout for the Middle East and U.S. interests there." – by Kenny Stancil

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/01/11/wanton-cruelty-pompeo-declare-houthis-terrorist-group-sparking-fears-worsening

(** A H P)

Yemen: NGOs fear the worst after Houthi ‘terrorist’ designation

Aid groups worry rebels’ designation by the Trump administration will worsen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The imminent United States designation of the Houthis has worried those NGOs – will they now continue to be able to deal with a “terrorist organisation”? And if not, will that mean a halt to aid being sent to Yemen?

“The designation threatens to further shrink the space and access we need to deliver humanitarian assistance,” said Abeer Etefa, the World Food Programme’s Middle East spokeswoman.

“The humanitarian response does not operate in a vacuum: we work with banks, commercial traders and transporters, who in turn have links to global insurers and so on … Right now, this looks like a worst-case scenario for Yemen. Life has just got harder for millions who are already struggling to survive.”

Humanitarian aid is also not the only area that will potentially be affected. Anyone conducting trade in Houthi-controlled territory may be at risk of legally falling foul of the US, and the same can be applied to anyone making financial transactions in those areas.

This could, therefore, plunge the Yemeni private sector into an even greater crisis than the one brought on by nearly six years of war, leading even more Yemenis into poverty.

“Many NGOs and businesses will have their legal teams assessing whether working in Yemen leaves them open to prosecution for materially supporting the Houthis simply by operating in the areas they control,” Peter Salisbury, the International Crisis Group’s senior Yemen analyst, told Al Jazeera.

“Many will conclude that the legal risks outweigh the benefits and halt work. Already traders are telling us that they will have to cease operations.”

Pompeo has framed the designation as an attempt to “achieve a peaceful, sovereign and united Yemen that is free from Iranian interference and at peace with its neighbours”.

The implication is the decision will quicken the demise of Houthi control over Yemeni population centres, and strengthen the Yemeni government in its pursuit of a victory in the country’s civil war.

Detractors argue this will likely not be the case, and the designation could instead serve to further widen the gap between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, and make it more difficult for peace negotiations to succeed.

“[The Houthis] are on the front foot militarily and feel that they are winning the war,” said Salisbury.

“They will use the designation and its humanitarian fallout as propaganda for their war effort … I am extremely pessimistic that we will see peace in Yemen in 2021. It is clear that the gap between the different parties is too wide to be bridged at present, and I fear that we need to start considering the war in Yemen a chronic long-term conflict like those in Somalia or Afghanistan – with a major famine thrown in for good measure.”

Despite those fears, the US designation of the Houthis has been welcomed by many Yemenis opposed to the group.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the US decision would “cause dangerous humanitarian and political repercussions”.

“We fear that the classification will have a negative impact on imports of food and other basic commodities at a time when more Yemenis are starving to death,” Dujarric said.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/12/yemen-ngos-fear-the-worst-after-houthi-terrorist-designation

(* A H P)

Film by Rania Khalek: The US branding the Houthis a terrorist org means humanitarian agencies will be afraid to support the 80% of Yemen’s 30 million who live in Houthi areas. Nearly everything Yemen needs is imported. Now trading with Houthi-held areas will be restricted.

https://twitter.com/RaniaKhalek/status/1349021831890690049

(** A H P)

US terror designation for Yemen rebels raises famine fears

The Trump administration’s out-the-door decision to designate Yemen’s Iranian-backed rebels as a terror organization sparked confusion in aid agencies and warnings from the United Nations and senior Republicans on Monday that it could have a devastating humanitarian impact on a conflict-wracked nation facing the risk of famine.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N.’s humanitarian operation is huge and the U.S. action “is likely to have serious humanitarian and political repercussions.”

Sen. Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed concern in a joint statement that without mitigating measures in place the U.S. designation “will have devastating humanitarian impacts.”

“Good intentions must not be eclipsed by significant unintended consequences,” they warned. “Yemen imports 90 percent of its food. In light of near-famine conditions ... this designation will have a devastating effect on Yemen’s food supply and other critical imports unless the executive branch acts now to issue the necessary licenses, waivers and appropriate guidance prior to designation.”

Dujarric also said it is “imperative for the U.S. to swiftly grant the necessary licenses and exemptions,” expressing fear that the private sector will not want “to get in the crosshairs of any sort of unilateral sanctions” as it has done in past situations, “so they sort of self-censor and hold back.”

Some aid agencies said they were considering pulling out foreign staff.

They warned that even if the U.S. grants humanitarian exceptions as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised Sunday, the move could snarl aid delivery, drive away banks, and further wreck an economy in which millions can’t afford to feed themselves.

Maged al-Madhaji, the director of Yemen’s most prominent think tank, Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies, said the designation will “shut the doors of (Houthi) attempts to win international legitimacy.” It will also ”paralyze their finances and drain money coming from regional allies,” he said.

Humanitarian groups said even with special U.S. Treasury licenses promised by Pompeo to allow aid to continue flowing the impact could be disastrous.

Janti Soeripto, president of Save the Children, criticized the “chaotic manner” by which the U.S. took the decision, which she said left agencies scrambling to figure out how to deal with them.

Delays or confusion in the license-issuing process could slow or disrupt imports of food, medicine and fuel.

“Yemen’s faltering economy will be dealt a further devastating blow,” said Mohamed Abdi, Yemen director for the Norwegian Refugee Council. He said banks, businesses and donors could “become unwilling or unable to take on the risk of operating in Yemen.”

If international banks retreat from any dealings with Yemen’s Houthi-dominated banking system, aid agencies and NGOs could be crippled because they must use the banks to move funds, pay salaries and keep operations running. A main income source for individual Yemenis — remittances from relatives abroad — could also be affected.

Once the designation is in effect, the World Health Organization will carry out contingency plans to relocate its international staffers, said its country director in Sanaa, Adham Ismail.

He said the U.S. move will also “make it harder to get donations and deliver health services to Yemenis under Houthi control – By MAGGIE MICHAEL and SAMY MAGDY

https://apnews.com/article/iran-middle-east-terrorism-yemen-mike-pompeo-e5726f2c67c65c17d9fb23a1d0b26f55

and also https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/11/us-designation-of-yemen-houthis-as-terrorists-will-worsen-humanitarian-crisis?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=twt_gu&utm_medium&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1610380131

(** A H P)

Aid agencies fear impact in Yemen after US terror decision

Aid agencies were thrown into confusion Monday over the Trump administration’s out-the-door decision to designate Yemen’s Iranian-backed rebels as a terror organization, which they warned could wreck the tenuous relief system keeping millions alive in a country already near famine in the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

The designation is to take effect on President Donald Trump’s last full day in office, a day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Several aid groups pleaded on Monday for Biden to immediately reverse the designation. The Biden transition team has not yet expressed his intentions.

“Acting on day one cannot only be a figure of speech,” Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead Scott Paul said. “Lives hang in the balance.”

Aid agencies said Monday they were struggling to figure out the implications of the designation, which would bring sanctions against the Houthis. Some were considering pulling out foreign staff. They warned that even if the U.S. grants humanitarian exceptions as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised Sunday, the move could snarl aid delivery, drive away banks and further wreck an economy in which millions can’t afford to feed themselves.

Houthi officials Monday were defiant over the U.S. designation.

“We are not fearful,” tweeted the head of the group’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi. “America is the source of terrorism. It’s directly involved in killing and starving the Yemeni people.”

In Iran, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the designation was “doomed to failure” and the U.S. would eventually have to enter negotiations with the Houthis.

The U.S. designation move is part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to isolate and cripple Iran. It also shows support to its close ally, Saudi Arabia

Maged al-Madhaji, the director of Yemen’s most prominent think tank, Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies, said the designation will “shut the doors of (Houthi) attempts to win international legitimacy.” It will also ”paralyze their finances and drain money coming from regional allies,” he said.

But the designation could hamper U.N. mediation efforts and hurt peace talks by polarizing each side’s positions, said one U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the subject.

Announcing the decision late Sunday, Pompeo promised measures to reduce the impact on humanitarian efforts. Those include special U.S Treasury licenses to allow U.S. aid to continue flowing and aid agencies to continue working.

Still, aid groups said the impact could be disastrous.

“Even with exemptions, the operation will be compromised,” said Janti Soeripto, the president of Save the Children. She criticized the “chaotic manner” by which the U.S. took the decision, which she said left agencies scrambling to figure out the implications and how to deal with them.

Delays or confusion in the license-issuing process could slow or disrupt imports of food, medicine and fuel, at a time when even slight interruptions have major consequences.

International banks are likely to retreat from any dealings with Yemen’s Houthi-dominated banking system. That will cripple aid agencies and NGOs, which must use the banks to move funds, pay salaries and keep operations running. It could also hurt a main income source for individual Yemenis — remittances from relatives abroad.

“Yemen’s faltering economy will be dealt a further devastating blow,” said Mohamed Abdi, Yemen director for the Norwegian Refugee Council. He said banks, businesses and donors could “become unwilling or unable to take on the risk of operating in Yemen.”

Once the designation is in effect, the World Health Organization will carry out contingency plans to relocate its international staffers, said its country director in Sanaa, Adham Ismail.

“It will definitely limit our capacity to bring international expertise,” he said, as well as make it harder to get donations and deliver health services to Yemenis under Houthi control.

Peter Salisbury, Yemen expert at the International Crisis Group, said “there is a broad consensus that if mismanaged this could have a devastating impact on millions of ordinary Yemenis.”

“What is less clear is how much of an immediate impact it will have on the Houthis, who will be the last to starve.”

https://apnews.com/article/iran-middle-east-terrorism-yemen-mike-pompeo-e5726f2c67c65c17d9fb23a1d0b26f55

and also https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-usa-implications/factbox-what-impact-could-u-s-blacklisting-of-houthis-have-on-yemens-war-idUSKBN29G0DF?rpc=401&

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-9138427/What-US-labels-Yemen-rebels-terrorists.html = https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210112-what-next-if-the-us-labels-yemen-rebels-terrorists

(* B H P)

Why labeling Yemen’s Houthis as terrorists could hurt millions of people

Millions of Yemenis need food, water, and health care. This move makes that harde

There’s a reason State is moving so fast: By law, Congress is afforded seven days to weigh in on the designation — and possibly reject it. And the Trump administration only has nine days left in office. If President Donald Trump’s team didn’t put in the designation announcement with extra days to spare, President-elect Joe Biden could simply stop the process altogether.

Many see the move as an attempt by Pompeo to hamper Iran by punishing one of its proxies and box in the Biden administration as he heads out the door, but Pompeo seems to truly believe the decision was the right one.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the designation was “short-sighted and endangers the lives of the Yemeni people.” Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), long a critic of the administration’s Yemen policy, tweeted that the decision was “another misstep in the United States’ years long misguided approach to the conflict in Yemen.”

They have good reason to think that: It’s possible that Pompeo and the Trump administration have just made life much, much worse for tens of millions of Yemenis in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

Since 2015, the US has supported the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen against the Houthis.

One way those in need get help is through humanitarian organizations. The Houthis control Yemen’s north, and it’s impossible for those organizations to operate there without the Houthis’ approval.

If the US follows through on designating the Houthis as a terrorist organization, then it will be harder for those groups to offer support for fear of possible prosecution by the US government.

As a result, “humanitarian assistance is likely going to be dramatically scaled back,” said Scott Paul, the humanitarian policy lead at Oxfam. He added that the designation will likely scare off foreign businesses, investors, and banks, thus further decimating Yemen’s reeling economy. “Services will become less available, goods more expensive, and people’s ability to pay less possible,” Scott told me.

One way humanitarian groups have gotten around this predicament before is by asking the US government to provide waivers for them. Basically, the waivers say, “As long as you ensure you’re not helping the designated terrorist, you can continue operating as you have been.”

But Pompeo’s Sunday statement suggests the US hasn’t designed those waivers yet.

The Washington Post reports that Biden is against the designation and may seek to overturn it once in office. That’s an easy matter to do legally — he can just say the Houthis shouldn’t be on the list — but that’s harder to do politically, as certain congressional members and even US partners like Saudi Arabia may decry the move.

Organizations like the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Win Without War, and Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation are drafting a letter to convince Biden to reverse the Trump administration’s decision.

https://www.vox.com/2021/1/11/22224799/yemen-houthi-terrorist-pompeo-humanitarian

Film by CBS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuaQlaz8feI

(* A H P)

A Final Trump Administration Act Could Intensify the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

A US plan to designate Yemen's Houthi rebels as terrorists has been described as "diplomatic vandalism."

David Miliband, the president of the International Rescue Committee and a former UK Foreign Secretary, said the US plan to declare the Houthis as terrorists was "diplomatic vandalism”.

"This policy, in the name of tying up the Houthis, will actually tie up the aid community and international diplomacy. The opposite is needed – effective pressure on all parties to the conflict to cease using civilians as hostages in their war games."

"IRC teams on the ground, in the North and South of the country, are battling against all odds to save lives. This designation makes their task all but impossible."

The Norwegian Refugee Council, a leading aid organisation working actively in Yemen, warned that the decision "will hamstring the ability of aid agencies to respond”.

"Getting food and medicine into Yemen – a country 80% dependent on imports – will become even more difficult. The US government must ensure that any sanctions do not block food, fuel and medicines from entering a country already in the middle of a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe,” said Mohamed Abdi, the Yemen country director of the NRC.

"Without additional safeguards and broader exemptions for the commercial sector, Yemen's faltering economy will be dealt a further devastating blow."

https://www.vice.com/en/article/93wz53/a-final-trump-administration-act-could-intensify-the-worlds-worst-humanitarian-crisis

(* A H P)

24 million Yemenis at catastrophic humanitarian risk following new U.S. terrorist designations of Ansar Allah, warns IRC

By designating the group as a terrorist organization, the U.S. is creating complex and possibly insurmountable legal, bureaucratic and operational challenges for humanitarian actors like the International Rescue Committee in Yemen, which is facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. We fear that the designation will make effective and efficient delivery of humanitarian aid all but impossible. The International Rescue Committee knows all too well from our voices on the ground the deplorable tactics used by all sides, in the conduct of this war, which have led to countless deaths and untold suffering. But this designation will not reduce these transgressions. If anything it will do the opposite.

This decision to designate is a callous political move that will harm rather than help the urgently needed diplomatic process. At the same time, as leading humanitarian organizations on the ground, including IRC, have warned for months, it will trigger greater suffering for the Yemeni people and further cripple the world's largest humanitarian response.

This designation comes at a time of unprecedented crisis in Yemen.

https://www.rescue.org/press-release/24-million-yemenis-catastrophic-humanitarian-risk-following-new-us-terrorist

(* A H P)

In response to US Secretary of State Pompeo’s decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist, Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead Scott Paul said:

Secretary Pompeo’s decision to designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization is a counter-productive and dangerous policy that will put innocent lives at risk. This designation will not help to resolve the conflict or provide justice for the violations and abuses committed during the war; it will only compound the crisis for millions of Yemenis fighting for their survival.

“Of the many options available for identifying and punishing terrorists, the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation that Secretary Pompeo has chosen to apply is by far the most severe – and the most deadly for Yemeni families. It will block US humanitarian aid, goods, and personnel from entering northern Yemen, where 70% of the population lives, and substantially reduce them throughout the rest of the country.

“The consequences will be felt acutely across a country also hit hard by extreme hunger, cholera and Covid-19, as banks, businesses and humanitarian donors become unwilling or unable to take on the risk of operating in Yemen.

“Every day these designations remain in place will compound the suffering of Yemen’s most vulnerable families. We call on President-Elect Biden to revoke them immediately upon taking office. In this instance, acting “on day one” cannot be only a figure of speech, as lives hang in the balance.”

https://www.oxfamamerica.org/press/in-response-to-us-secretary-of-state-pompeos-decision-to-designate-the-houthis-as-a-foreign-terrorist-organization-and-specially-designated-global-terrorist-oxfam-americas-humanitarian-policy-lead-scott-paul-said/

and also https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/reaction-us-intention-designate-houthis-foreign-terrorist-organisation-enar

and many others:

(A H P)

Refugees International: Trump Admin’s Terrorist Designation of Houthis in Yemen ‘Reckless and Destructive’

https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2021/1/11/trump-admins-terrorist-designation-of-houthis-in-yemen-reckless-and-destructive

(A H P)

Mercy Corps: News Alert: Yemen Designation Will Undermine Already Stretched Humanitarian Response

https://www.mercycorps.org/press-room/releases/yemen-designation

(A H P)

CARE Statement on Yemen Foreign Terrorist Designation

https://care.org/news-and-stories/press-releases/care-statement-on-yemen-foreign-terrorist-designation/

(A H P)

Save the Children: U.S. Terrorism Designation in Yemen Threatens Children’s Lives

https://www.savethechildren.org/us/about-us/media-and-news/2021-press-releases/terrorism-designation-in-yemen-threatens-lives

(A H P)

Islamic Relief: Yemen: US designation of Ansar Allah puts lives at risk

https://www.islamic-relief.org/yemen-us-designation-of-ansar-allah-puts-lives-at-risk/

(A H P)

Action Against Hunger: Yemen: Designating ‘Houthis’ a Terrorist Organization will have Disastrous Impact on Civilians

https://www.actionagainsthunger.org/story/yemen-designating-houthis-terrorist-organization-will-have-disastrous-impact-civilians

(A H P)

NRC: Yemen: Statement by NRC Country Director Mohamed Abdi on the US designation of Ansar Allah as a terrorist organisation

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-statement-nrc-country-director-mohamed-abdi-us-designation-ansar-allah-terrorist

(* A H P)

Trump Admin’s Terrorist Designation of Houthis in Yemen ‘Reckless and Destructive’

Please see below statement from Refugees International’s Vice President for Programs and Policy Hardin Lang:

“The Trump administration’s decision to designate the Houthi movement in Yemen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is both reckless and destructive.

Coming just days before Trump leaves office, the designation will complicate diplomatic efforts to end the war in Yemen and will disrupt relief efforts for the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Particularly alarming are reports that Secretary Pompeo is moving forward before finalizing waives and licenses that would allow humanitarian aid to continue to flow. If true, it is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible decision.

The litmus test for U.S. policy on Yemen is simple: does it help end the conflict, or keep alive the millions of suffering Yemenis? The designation fails on both counts.

President-elect Biden and his team will need to move quickly to roll back this decision. The people of Yemen have endured enough. Ending their suffering must start on day one.”

https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2021/1/11/trump-admins-terrorist-designation-of-houthis-in-yemen-reckless-and-destructive

(* A H P)

Statement: Houthi “Terrorist” Designation Spells Suffering for Thousands

Win Without War Policy Director Kate Kizer released the following statement regarding the Trump administration’s decision to designate the Houthis in Yemen’s movement as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT):

“Levying baseless terrorism designations on the Houthis in Yemen is nothing more than a cynical, last-ditch attempt to prevent the Biden administration from reversing Trump’s disastrous Yemen and Iran policies. This decision is a devastating blow to the prospects of peace, and a reckless instigation of further suffering in what is already the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

“This designation is an ill-considered and politically-motivated decision if there ever was one — done purely as a gift to Saudi Arabia and to antagonize Iran as a part of a failed “maximum pressure” campaign. Rather than bringing the Houthis to the negotiating table, it is more likely to convince the Houthis that more war is the only means of achieving its goals.

“Perhaps most importantly, however, designating the Houthis will only further restrict already-insufficient flows of humanitarian aid to a country that is experiencing overlapping famines and medical crises. Leading humanitarian groups have made clear that this act will significantly disrupt their work, even if humanitarian exemptions are included.

“There must be accountability for all violations of the laws of war and human rights in Yemen, including for the Houthis, the coalition, and international backers of the conflict.

https://winwithoutwar.org/statement-houthi-terrorist-designation-spells-suffering-for-thousands/

(* A P)

Nearly every expert has warned this will be devastating for Yemen’s humanitarian crisis (US aid and US-based NGOs will likely not be able to provide aid to where 80% of the population lives and will likely prevent many imports) and bulldoze any prospect of a process.

Please take a moment to read Scott’s thread that does a much better job of articulating exactly why an FTO designation for Yemen’s Houthis is such a misguided decision.

https://twitter.com/MaherFarrukh/status/1348470757630889984

(* A P)

Re-upping this in light of today’s reports. I’m every bit as scared for Yemenis today as I was when I wrote this. Pres.-Elect Biden needs to revoke these designations on Jan 20 because #YemenCantWait

https://twitter.com/ScottTPaul/status/1348457995265593346

Thread from Dec. 3: https://twitter.com/ScottTPaul/status/1334494500413206528

cp5 English: Reaktionen der Huthis, der Araber, im Ausland / Reactions by Houthis, Arabs, abroad

(* A P)

Yemen Rebels Dismiss US Terror Listing, Say Trump 'So Absurd,' No One Accepts Him

A senior official of the Zaidi Shiite Muslim militia in control of the Yemeni capital and other parts of the war-torn country has told Newsweek his group is dismissing being labeled a terrorist organization in the final days of President Donald Trump's administration, which the official felt lacked credibility.

Nasreddin Amer, deputy information secretary of the Ansar Allah, or Houthi movement, government based in Sanaa, repudiated the designation as part of a problematic pattern of decisions including the U.S. leader's support for protesters that broke into the Capitol on Wednesday to disrupt the certification of his electoral loss, sparking violent clashes that left at least five people dead.

"We consider it to be a decision issued by an administration lacking sensibility, internally and externally," Amer told Newsweek, "and that Trump caused the storming of the Capitol and is meddling internally and externally."

"Since his internal behavior is absurd and rejected by the whole world, his external behavior is also absurd and should not be accepted by anyone," he added.

Amer argued that the Trump administration's actions against Ansar Allah may actually help the group due to the U.S.' great unpopularity in a country ravaged by nearly five years of conflict between the powerful rebel group aligned with Iran and an exiled government backed by a Saudi-led coalition with U.S. support.

"Basically, the Yemeni people carry great indignation against America and the Trump administration in particular," Amer said, "and therefore any decision of this kind will increase the size of the popular rallying around Ansar Allah."

He argued that as a result of its actions throughout Yemen's devastating role, the U.S. was more befitting of the label it sought to brand on Ansar Allah.

"We are practicing legitimate defense for ourselves and our people," Amer told Newsweek. "And those who practice terrorism are those who attack us and our country for six years, especially the United States of America, which has been running this war and supplying it with weapons to kill children and women and practicing the siege on our country, even though we have not attacked anyone, but we are defending ourselves and our country."

https://www.newsweek.com/yemen-rebels-dismiss-us-terror-listing-trump-absurd-1560672?piano_t=1

(* A P)

Houthis vow to deal with Americans alike following terror designation

The Houthis will be forced to deal with Americans alike in many files, spokesman for the group said Monday, if Washington does not "seriously reconsider" plans to designate the group as terrorist.
The US positions has nothing new at the practical level, as "they practiced against the Yemeni people the most heinous crimes, economic and humanitarian sanctions, military invention and comprehensive support for aggression on us," Mohamed Abdul Salam added in remarks to Sputnik International.
"We think that Trump administration is living a state of clear confusion. Its decisions now are to sell stances for many parties in the added time."
Trump administration "failed in all files concerning the region, and enhanced the presence a state of huge resentment against it and its essential allies; Saudi Arabia and Israel," the Houthi negotiator added.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-22403.html

(* A P)

[Sanaa] Gov't: the American decision is a flagrant violation of the will of the Yemeni people

The National Salvation Government on Tuesday condemned the aggressive decision issued by the US State Department to classify Ansarullah among a list of so-called terrorist groups.

The government considers the decision an attack on the will of the free Yemeni people, who reject guardianship and foreign domination.

It also considered the decision a hostile and unprecedented act by an arrogant U.S. administration that breathes its last political breath and serves the reckless actions of outgoing President Trump in the service of its own and other allies' interests in the region.

The government warns the international community and the countries sponsoring the peace process in Yemen of the multiple negative consequences of this decision on the peaceful path and its failure in prolonging the period of aggression, harming the public interest of the Yemeni people and worsening the security and stability of the region.

It explained that a true terrorist is the one who attacks other countries with flimsy pretexts to control their wealth, oppress their people and control their decisions as well as who sponsor and form terrorist groups and supply them with money and weapons as clearly illustrated by the statements of US officials and proved by WikiLeaks' documents.

The American decision will only increase the faith of the Yemeni people in their cause by relying on themselves to continue to resist criminal aggression in all its forms, it added.

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3124191.htm

(A P)

Al-Houthi condemns linking Ansarullah to terrorism

Member of the Supreme Political Council Mohammed al-Houthi condemned on Monday the designation of Ansarullah as terrorism by the Trump administration.

In a tweet on his Twitter account on Monday, al-Houthi added ''America is the source of terrorism and the Trump administration’s policy and its actions are terrorist and their policies express a crisis of thinking, which is a condemned act''.

He said that the Yemeni people reserve the right to respond to any classification from the Trump administration or any other administration, and ''the Yemeni people do not care about this classification because America is a real partner in killing and starving the Yemeni people''.

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3124038.htm

and also https://hodhodyemennews.net/2021/01/11/mohammed-al-houthi-calls-us-source-of-terrorism/

(A P)

Ansarullah mocks US threat to designate movement as “terrorist organisation”

A senior official of Ansarullah, Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti, said on Monday that “America is using its last options, which is to designate us as terrorists, but it will fail.”

Al-Bukhaiti confirmed in his tweets on Twitter that “the nation will discover that the American weapon of the term “terrorism” is nothing but a paper sword, and that relying on Allah is the right choice that leads to victory.”

He pointed out that the USA had used its internal tools to fight Ansarullah and failed, and after exhausting these, chose to use the option of direct aggression and failed again.

“We are reassured and do not feel any concern about such a stupid step, because we will emerge from this aggression stronger militarily and morally just like we did in previous times,” Al-Bukhaiti said.

https://hodhodyemennews.net/2021/01/11/ansarullah-mocks-us-threat-to-designate-movement-as-terrorist-organisation/

and also https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210112-yemen-houthis-reject-us-plan-to-designate-them-as-foreign-terrorist-group/

(A P)

Abdulsalam: Nothing New in US Decision Classifying Ansarullah 'Terrorist Organization,' We Deal with Americans the Same Way

The head of the National Delegation, the official spokesperson for Ansarullah, Mohammad Abdulsalam, commented on Washington's decision to classify Ansarullah as a terrorist organization, saying, "There is nothing new bout the American position from a practical level," stressing that “if there is no serious review of this decision, we will be forced to deal with the Americans in similarly many issues."

Abdulsalam said in a statement to the Russian agency "Sputnik", Monday: "The US has exercised against the Yemeni People the most heinous types of economic and humanitarian sanctions and crimes, military intervention and comprehensive support for the Saudi-led aggression."

Abdulsalam considered that "Trump's administration is living in a state of apparent confusion, and its decisions are now selling positions in favor of other parties in the conflict in the lost time." He pointed out that "Trump's administration has failed at this stage in all issues in the region and has reinforced the creation of a state of great discontent against it and its main allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel."

https://english.almasirah.net/post/17128/Abdulsalam-Nothing-New-in-US-Decision-Classifying-Ansarullah-Terrorist-Organization%2C-%C2%A0We-Deal-with-Americans-the

and also https://hodhodyemennews.net/2021/01/12/top-yemeni-diplomat-responds-to-us-plans-to-designate-ansarullah-as-terrorist-organisation/

(A P)

Salvation Government Spokesman: US Head of International Terrorism and Its Sponsor, Its Decision Against Ansarullah Result of It's Internal Crisis

The spokesman for the Salvation Government, Dhaifullah Al-Shami, said, Monday, that the US is the head and sponsor of international terrorism, noting that Hillary Clinton's statement about the establishment and arming of ISIS is known to the world.

Al-Shami confirmed to Almasirah that the American decision resulted from an internal conflict with the end of the current administration and the departure of Trump. Trump sought to ease the burden on Washington's Saudi and Emirati allies, pointing out that the American decision to classify a group of the Yemeni People as terrorists is

https://english.almasirah.net/post/17122/Salvation-Government-Spokesman-US-Head-of-International-Terrorism-and-Its-Sponsor%2C-Its-Decision-Against-Ansarullah

and also https://hodhodyemennews.net/2021/01/12/official-spokesman-of-yemeni-government-us-is-the-main-global-sponsor-of-terrorism/

and another statement: https://english.almasirah.net/post/17140/Hamed-US-Crimes-Against-Yemenis-Not-to-Be-Wiped-Out-By-a-%98Crazy-Decision-

(A P)

Iran's ambassador to Yemen: US Designates Ansarullah As 'Terrorist Organization' Under Israeli Pressure

https://english.almasirah.net/post/17141/Iran-s-ambassador-to-Yemen-US-Designates-Ansarullah-As-Terrorist-Organization-Under-Israeli-Pressure%C2%A0

(* A P)

by European Union: Yemen: Statement by the Spokesperson on US designation of Ansar Allah as Terrorist Organisation

The US designation of Ansar Allah as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, in addition to the designation of three of its leaders, risks rendering UN-led efforts to reach a comprehensive solution to the Yemen conflict more difficult. It will complicate the necessary diplomatic engagement with Ansar Allah and the work of the international community on political, humanitarian and developmental matters.

The EU is particularly concerned about the impact of this decision on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, currently facing an imminent risk of widespread famine. The designation is likely to have disruptive effects on the delivery of humanitarian aid funded by the international community and further aggravate the economic crisis which has resulted from over five years of conflict.

The EU remains convinced that only an inclusive political solution can end the conflict in Yemen and will continue to promote dialogue among all parties

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/91367/yemen-statement-spokesperson-us-designation-ansar-allah-terrorist-organisation_en

(* A P)

Serious repercussions likely to follow US plan to designate Yemen combatants terrorists, UN warns

The United States government’s decision to designate Ansar Allah, more commonly known as the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, as terrorists, is likely to have “serious humanitarian and political repercussions”, the UN spokesperson said on Monday.

Mr. Pompeo’s statement on Sunday acknowledged concerns that the designations would have an “impact on the humanitarian situation in Yemen”, adding that the US would put in place measures to reduce their impact.

Mr. Dujarric called for the US to ensure that licenses and exemptions are granted, so that humanitarian assistance continues to reach the people who need it, and the private sector can continue to function, in order to stave off complete economic collapse and large-scale famine.

The huge humanitarian operation in the country – the largest in the world – cannot replace the private sector or compensate for major drops in commercial imports, declared the UN official.

The political process in Yemen also risks being destabilized as a result of the terrorist designation, continued Mr. Dujarric, and the positions of the opposing sides in the conflict that has riven the country since 2015, could become even more polarized.

According to figures released by the UN in December, more than 230,000 Yemenis have died due to the war, mostly because of a lack of food, health services and infrastructure.

Mr. Dujarric pledged that the UN will continue to work with all parties to “resume and continue an inclusive political process to reach a comprehensive negotiated settlement to end the conflict”.

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/01/1081822

(* A P)

Yemen [Hadi] government welcomes expected Houthi terror designation by US

Yemen's internationally recognised government on Monday welcomed Washington's decision to designate the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and their leaders as global terrorists effective from January 19.

The announcement was made only 10 days before US President Donald Trump leaves office.

"The designations are intended to hold Ansar Allah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and commercial shipping," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, using the Houthis' official name.

All the actions that Houthis have taken over the years reflect those of terrorist groups, Deputy Minister of Youth Hamza Al Kamaly told The National.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/mena/yemen-government-welcomes-expected-houthi-terror-designation-by-us-1.1143951

and also https://debriefer.net/en/news-22402.html

https://debriefer.net/en/news-22409.html

and

(* A P)

Yemen [Hadi] Govt Releases Statement on US Designation of Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

The Government of the Republic of Yemen takes this opportunity to comment on the latest decision by the United States Government to officially designate Ansar Allah (partisans of God), i.e., the Houthis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). “After six years of conflict, and attempting other types of sanctions, we believe that all political and legal pressures must continue being mounted, maximized and maintained on the Houthis in order to make conditions conducive and conclusive to a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Government of Yemen welcomes this US announcement, and which is intended to engender an ultimate final resolution to this long and tragic conflict in Yemen,” states H.E. Dr. Ahmed Awad BinMubarak, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates (and former Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to the United States of America).

Moreover, the Houthis merit an FTO designation not only for their concerted efforts in prolonging the conflict and producing the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, but also for their actual concealed terrorist actions. The Houthis are an emerging menace to both regional allies and international security; and their presence also poses a threat to US interests and national security.

Furthermore, the Houthis have perpetrated crimes against humanity, including by terrorist activities in secret collusion and collaboration with other foreign terrorist groups who have managed to operate from Yemeni territories. Truly, and even beyond Hezbollah and IRGC, there is also a hidden nexus and network of cooperation between the Houthis and other foreign terrorist groups who have global aims and ambitions to attack the US military,

https://republicanyemen.net/archives/26800

My comment: The old propaganda story of Houthi-Al Qaeda ties is warmed up – by a government which itself has many ties to Al Qaeda (just look at its vice president).

(* A P)

STC welcomes US designation of Houthis as terrorist group

The southern transitional council on Monday welcomed the US designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group.

We welcome any move that can put an end to practices of this and other extremist groups in Yemen, the council's spokesperson Ali Al-Kathiri said.

The Houthi group is continuing its crimes, including killings, abductions, blockade, targeting civilian objects and other acts of terror in Yemen and the region, he wrote on Twitter.
He reiterated the council's commitment to a comprehensive peace process and support to any efforts against terror.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-22410.html

and also http://en.adenpress.news/news/31981

My comment: Nonsense. The designation will block any peace process.

and more: http://en.adenpress.news/news/31978

(A P)

[Hadi gov.] Yemeni Parliament urges Congress to ratify adding Houthis to terror list

The [Hadi gov.] Yemeni Parliament late on Monday called on the Congress to ratify the decision blacklisting the Houthis as a terrorist group.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-22426.html

My comment: This “parliament” is a scam. When did it meet for the last time? It’s just a speaker calling himself “parliament”.

(A P)

UAE welcomes US decision to label Houthis as terrorists

“We welcome the US administration’s decision to classify the Houthi militia as a terrorist organisation, and to place its leaders on terrorist lists,” UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said in a tweet.

http://en.adenpress.news/news/31984

(A P)

GCC welcomes US designation of Houthis as terrorist organization

The Secretary General of the GCC Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf described the move as “a necessary step that is consistent with the demands of the Yemeni government [which wants] to put an end to violations that these militias carry out against the brotherly people of Yemen.”
He said the Houthi’s threat to the region was part of the Iranian regime’s agenda.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1791531/middle-east

cp6 Propaganda

(A P)

US designation of Houthis as terrorist to facilitate Yemen settlement

The decision is expected to increase pressures on the Houthis so they accept concessions in any future negotiations to find a solution to the war in Yemen.

Yemeni political sources said they expect the US decision to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group to curtail the Iran-backed group’s movement, its regional and international activities and its financing sources. It will also increase pressure on the Houthis to make concessions in any future negotiations on a final settlement.

The sources warned, however, against direct reactions from the group in the coming period, which could include targeting the international shipping waterways in the Red Sea in an attempt to blackmail the international community.

The sources also expect other international entities to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group, with the exception of the European Union, which prefers to link its stance towards the Houthis to its position on Iran and negotiations with Tehran about the “nuclear issue,” which may resume after with the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden.

The sources indicated that Arab countries known to support the Houthi group politically, in the media and financially and that have hosted some of the militant group’s leaders could be affected by repercussions from the US designation, as their support for or harbouring of Houthi leaders would now be considered a form of support for a terrorist group.

https://thearabweekly.com/us-designation-houthis-terrorist-facilitate-yemen-settlement

My comment: Above all, this is propaganda BS: This designation would hinder any further negotiations with the Houthis – whoever will negotiate with them will be sanctioned by the US too.

(A P)

Albukhaiti: those who oppose designation of Houthis as FTO should not hide behind humanitarian work

Yemeni political commentator Ali Albukhaiti criticized yesterday activists who oppose the US designation of Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)under the pretext of that the US severe consequences on humanitarian aid.

Those who oppose designating the Houthi group as a terrorist organization, should not hide behind the relief and humanitarian work in Yemen, as it’s been completely excluded from any consequences, they must disclose the true reason. It’s their jobs and travels that are threatened,” Albukhaiti said in a Tweeter post.

He also affirmed that the decision will not undermine peace as experts claim.

“The claim that classifying the Houthis as terrorists will obstruct peace is a lie behind those who live in the illusion of peace | The decision is a means of pressure on the group towards peace if it has a place in their agenda, even though peace is impossible with terrorism,” Albukhaiti added.

https://republicanyemen.net/archives/26804

(A P)

US move to designate Houthis terrorist organization will help Yemen peace efforts: Officials, analysts

America’s decision to designate the Iran-backed Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization will help pave the way for peace in Yemen, government officials and analysts claim.

The designation, due to come into effect the day before US President Donald Trump’s administration leaves office, would curb Houthi human rights abuses and the group’s resistance to peace efforts, while weakening financial sources that fuel the war in the country, they said.

Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, former prime minister of Yemen and a senior adviser to the Yemeni president, described the US move as an “accurate and realistic description” of the Houthi movement, adding that the step would boost the Yemeni government and Arab coalition efforts to recapture state bodies from the Houthis.

In a tweet, Daghr said: “With this historic decision, the Americans have expressed their desire to achieve peace, sovereignty, and unity in Yemen and to save Yemen from Iranian interference.”

Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Yemen’s foreign minister, told Arab News that the decision would not have any impact on humanitarian deliveries inside Houthi-controlled areas, as it excluded humanitarian workers who deal with the rebels from sanctions.

“We will not allow the punishment of our people in areas under the control of the militias. The decision includes exceptions that will enable humanitarian organizations to operate,” the minister said.

At the same time, Yemeni government officials who handle humanitarian activities inside Yemen backed the US move, blaming the Houthis for fueling the humanitarian crisis by blocking the distribution of life-saving aid in areas under their control.

Based on his previous experience with the Houthis, former Yemeni minister of local administration and chairman of the higher committee for relief in Yemen, Abdul Raqeeb Fateh, said the designation would have positive impacts on the delivery of humanitarian assistance since it would put an end to the plundering of aid by the Houthis.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1791486/middle-east

(A P)

Houthi designation will help end Yemeni people’s suffering

The US’ designation of the Houthi militia as a terrorist group has added to a series of previous cumulative steps, which include the efforts of the international community, led by Saudi Arabia, to support the transitional phase in Yemen. This designation is an important step in strengthening efforts to combat terrorism and its financing around the world because Iranian-backed militias such as the Houthis represent a clear threat to international peace and security.
The Houthis did not adhere to the outcomes of the comprehensive national dialogue, which lasted for 10 months in 2013-14 and saw the Yemenis develop solutions and remedies for all the country’s issues

Designating the Houthis as a terrorist group serves several important goals. It will support the existing political efforts and will force the group’s leaders to enter into serious peace negotiations and implement any agreement. It will also dry up the Houthis’ financial resources, as businessmen will stop their commercial partnerships with the militia.
The Houthis will no longer be able to recruit large numbers of youths and children.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1791541

(A P)

So many hypocrites are making the outcry to save Yemen’s destroyers from harm!

Since US officials first revealed that the Trump administration intent to designate Houthis - the authors of Yemen’s misery - terrorists, a host of politicians and humanitarian and media organizations unleashed a wave of outcries citing alleged concerns about the humanitarian impact on the civilians in the Houthi-controlled areas. So much so that the Trump administration seemed to want to back down.

Now as the administration’s designation intent is surfacing again, the voices of opposition are surfacing too, bent on dashing any hopes for criminalizing Houthism and resolving the protracted war militarily.

What is odd is that these objectors to the terror labeling use the war prolongation as a purported concern to oppose the designation decision!

The Washington Post has said in an article “One individual with knowledge of the matter said … that the new administration was expected to vacate it ..” !

So we are already hearing about some intents to abolish the over-deserved designation even before it is issued!

It is really astonishing why there are so many behind-the-scene organizations always in a state of readiness to lobby for the radical militia that is responsible for destroying Yemen.

The alleged concerns about the decision’s impact on the humanitarian crisis and so-called peace track, can never be the explanation for all this vehement desire to save Houthis from the designation. Because Houthis are the authors of the war and the misery, and are the guarantee of their continuity. The objectors know it.

https://www.alsahwa-yemen.net/en/p-44436

(A P)

Are Houthis a terrorist group? Yes they are. Just like ISIS. Arguments that this will impact the peace process or bring Houthis closer to Iran r flawed. Houthis alliance with Iran is solid & unbreakable.Good intentions aside, the current “peace” process has emboldened Houthis

UN mediation has helped Houthis regroup & expand militarily by blocking military action against them. It is focused on a quick fix and a political settlement that will set #Yemen for yet more devastating conflicts in the future. It is deeply flawed & counterproductive

However, designating Houthis will come at a high price to ordinary Yemenis with minimal effect on Houthis. Waivers for humanitarian orgs r not enough to mitigate impact. Private & banking sector will likely collapse. Millions of Yemenis will lose their jobs

Neither political negotiations with Houthis nor their designation alone will contain their (& Iran’s threat). Only a strong & well planned ground military action that weakens them will neutralize their threat & bring Yemen closer to peace.

https://twitter.com/Ndawsari/status/1348626896150532096

My comment: Make war, not peace: propagating and endless war here.

Vorige / Previous:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-707-yemen-war-mosaic-707

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-707 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-707:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dkloseoder / orhttp://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

(18 +, Nichts für Sensible!) / (18 +; Graphic!)

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

http://yemenwarcrimes.blogspot.de/

http://www.yemenwar.info/

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

http://yemendataproject.org/data/

Untersuchung ausgewählter Luftangriffe durch Bellingcat / Bellingcat investigations of selected air raids:

https://yemen.bellingcat.com/

Untersuchungen von Angriffen, hunderte von Filmen / Investigations of attacks, hundreds of films:

https://yemeniarchive.org/en

11:43 13.01.2021
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
Dietrich Klose

Kommentare