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January 18, 2024

Terrorist Designation of the Houthis

The Department of State today is announcing the designation of Ansarallah, commonly referred to as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group, effective 30 days from today.

Since November, the Houthis have launched unprecedented attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, as well as military forces positioned in the area to defend the safety and security of commercial shipping.  These attacks against international shipping have endangered mariners, disrupted the free flow of commerce, and interfered with navigational rights and freedoms.  This designation seeks to promote accountability for the group’s terrorist activities.  If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States will reevaluate this designation.

The Houthis must be held accountable for their actions, but it should not be at the expense of Yemeni civilians.  As the Department of State moves forward with this designation, we are taking significant steps to mitigate any adverse impacts this designation may have on the people of Yemen.  During the 30-day implementation delay, the U.S. government will conduct robust outreach to stakeholders, aid providers, and partners who are crucial to facilitating humanitarian assistance and the commercial import of critical commodities in Yemen.  The Department of the Treasury is also publishing licenses authorizing certain transactions related to the provision of food, medicine, and fuel, as well as personal remittances, telecommunications and mail, and port and airport operations on which the Yemeni people rely.

Today’s announced action is being taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, terrorist organizations, leaders of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.  Ansarallah is being designated for having committed or attempted to commit, posing a significant risk of committing, or having participated in training to commit acts of terrorism that threaten the security of United States nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.  This designation and the associated general licenses will be effective on February 16, 2024.