The United States of America plans to designate the Yemeni Rebels, Houthi Resistance as foreign terrorists. The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his plans on Sunday.
Many diplomats, humanitarian aid groups worry that the move can threaten the peace talks and complicate the efforts to combat what is said to be the world's largest humanitarian crisis.
The decision comes just before Joe Biden takes over the presidency from Trump on the twentieth of January.
The rebel group says they are "defending their community against discrimination" and government aggression. However, the Yemeni government accuses it of being backed, directed, and financed by Iran.
The piling up of sanctions on Iran and the killing of the Irani General Qaseem Solemani has been the highlights of the Trump Administration's policy with Iran.
Pompeo said in a statement, “The Department of State will notify Congress of my intent to designate Ansar Allah sometimes referred to as the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).”
He added, “I also intend to designate three of Ansar Allah’s leaders, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.”
United Nations has often said the insurgency in Yemen as " the largest humanitarian crisis".
Aid agencies need to collaborate with the Houthi group as they are the de-facto authority in the northern part of the country. The rebel group also controls the Sanaa airport and Hodeidah port, from where aid workers and suppliers have to come in through.
“This serves no interest at all,” Ryan Crocker, a retired U.S. ambassador who served in the Middle East as quoted by Reuters, said of the designation. “Are there elements among the Houthis who have been involved in terrorist acts? Sure. Just as with other groups in the Middle East.”
“The Houthis are an integral part of Yemeni society. They always have been. This is making a strategic enemy out of a local force that has been part of Yemen for generations. They are not Iranian pawns.”
Yemen is currently facing "the world's largest humanitarian crisis", according to the United Nations. UN officials have warned that the millions are facing famine in Yemen and more money needs to be delivered.
Earlier in November United Nations general secretary, Antonio Guterres had said Yemen is in “imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades."