A senior leader of Yemen’s Houthi group, Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, has rejected plans by the US to designate the group as a “foreign terrorist organisation” and accused Washington of being “the source of terrorism”.
“The policies adopted by the U.S. reflect a crisis of thinking, which is a condemned act and we reserve the right to respond to any designation,” Al Houthi, who is also a member of the group’s Supreme Political Council, wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said Washington’s plan to classify the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organisation reflects the “bankruptcy of the US government” which is poisoning its legacy and tarnishing the United States’ image.
The Houthis are said to be fighting a proxy war on behalf of Iran against Saudi Arabia.
Late on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the State Department intends to designate the group and three of its leaders – namely Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, Abdul-Khaliq Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya Al-Hakim – as terrorists.
The designation will take effect on 19 January, one day before Donald Trump leaves office.