Biden Administration ‘Beyond Fed Up’ with Yemen’s Houthis After Delisting Them as Terrorists

Houthi supporters step and walk on a representation of the U.S. flag during a demonstration outside the closed U.S. embassy against the United States over its decision to designate the Houthis a foreign terrorist organisation in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

The Biden administration said on Thursday it is “beyond fed up” with “brutal” attacks in Yemen by the Iran-supported Houthi insurgency – the very same group Biden acted swiftly to delist as terrorists when he took office.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed frustration with the Houthis’ refusal to negotiate for peace. Instead of engaging in diplomacy, the Houthis launched a vicious offensive to capture Marib, the last major city in northern Yemen held by the internationally recognized elected government.

“When it comes to Yemen, you asked if we are fed up with the Houthi attacks. The answer to that is yes. We are beyond fed up,” Price said in response to a question from reporters.

“We are horrified by the repeated attacks on Marib. We strongly condemn the Houthi missile attack on a residential neighborhood in Marib on June 29th. It took civilian lives, including the life of a child,” he said.

The Houthis have showered Marib with indiscriminate missile fire, killing hundreds of civilians, including young children. As Price indicated, children were among the dead and wounded from the latest Houthi missile attack on Tuesday, while the insurgency risibly claimed it was targeting only “Saudi-backed forces and mercenaries.”

The Marib offensive intensified dramatically last week, ending when the Houthis suffered heavy casualties and pulled back. Yemeni officials warned the Houthis are regrouping, bringing in reinforcements, and preparing to attack Marib again.

Price said the Houthi assault on Marib is “exacerbating the humanitarian crisis faced by the people of Yemen,” already among the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world.

He complained that the Houthis are continuing their “brutal offensive” instead of joining “other Yemenis who are actively working toward peace” and considering a proposal that would “meet their long-held and stated demands for a plan with practical steps to facilitate the flow of goods into and within Yemen, implement a nationwide ceasefire, and initiate inclusive political talks.”

“What concerns us is the loss of life. What concerns us is the fact that this offensive continues to set back the process for a durable political solution to this long-running conflict,” Price said.

And yet, the Biden administration rushed to delist the Houthis as terrorists in early 2021, ignoring warnings that the brutal Iran-backed insurgency would take advantage of Biden’s concessions to renew their bloody war for control of Yemen. Critics saw it as a cynical political move to curry favor with the Houthis’ patrons in Tehran since Biden’s team was eager to reverse former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The Biden policy was an immediate disaster, as the Houthis pocketed everything the U.S. gave them and hardly skipped a beat before blocking and stealing humanitarian aid, bombing civilian targets beyond Yemen’s borders, launching terrorist attacks, and firing missiles into schools filled with children. Iranian arms shipments to the bloodthirsty rebels continued, including ballistic missiles and armed drones.

The Biden administration complained helplessly after each new atrocity, all the way up to Price’s fuming that his department is “fed up” with the savage Marib offensive – which began in early February, within days of Biden delisting the Houthis as terrorists and withdrawing American support for the Saudi-led coalition against them.

Iran has not budged from insisting on sweeping unilateral concessions from the United States before negotiating a return to the nuclear deal. This week, it added new demands that Biden must sign commitments to keep America in the nuclear deal forever, with no further options to withdraw under any circumstances.

Biden is beginning to roll back sanctions in line with Iran’s demands, having gained absolutely nothing from the concessions he made in Yemen. Biden’s team claimed lifting sanctions against the Houthis was essential to get vitally needed aid to conflict zones and areas under firm Houthi control – but the humanitarian situation is unquestionably worse than before Biden’s policies were enacted.

Iran just replaced the supposedly “moderate” civilian president who negotiated the nuclear deal, Hassan Rouhani, with a brutal hardline cleric named Ebrahim Raisi under investigation for crimes against humanity. Biden is reportedly considering lifting sanctions against the other brutal hardline cleric who holds supreme power in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is very difficult to detect any trace of gratitude from Tehran for Biden easing up the pressure on Iran’s America-hating Islamist terrorist proxies in Yemen.

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