US removes terrorist designation for Houthi rebels in Yemen

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The United States will revoke the “terrorist” designation for Houthi rebels in Yemen, the State Department confirmed Friday.

The insurgents were branded terrorists by the outgoing Trump Administration in one of their last and most highly charged official acts.

“Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the official told Reuters.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

The impoverished Middle East nation is currently engulfed in civil war. In 2015, Saudi Arabia led a coalition of forces to intervene on behalf of the government against the rebels, who are receiving support from Iran.

The conflict is widely considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with atrocities regularly taking place on both sides. The United Nations estimates that up to 80% of Yemenis are in need of aid.

The State Department stressed that its removal of terrorist status for the Houthis did not change US policy regarding past “reprehensible conduct” from the insurgents.

“We welcome the stated intention by the US administration to revoke the designation as it will provide profound relief to millions of Yemenis who rely on humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to meet their basic survival needs,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Reuters.

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