Skip to main content

Intel: Why the US thinks designating Houthis as terrorists could help peace in Yemen

Houthi followers demonstrate to show rejection to an offer by the Saudi-led coalition to pay compensations for victims of an air strike in Saada, Yemen September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Naif Rahma - RC1B734F6900

The Donald Trump administration is considering designating Yemen’s Houthis a terrorist organization, the Washington Post reported Thursday, just as the United Nations pushed back plans to hold peace talks to end the war between the Saudi-led Arab coalition and the Iran-backed rebels.

Why it matters: Designating the Houthis as terrorists would make it illegal for US citizens to provide money or other material support to the group. It’s not clear, however, that a movement that originated in northern Yemen in the early 1990s enjoys many Western linkages. The Houthis are believed to receive ballistic missiles and other military support from Iran, but make much of their revenue (as much as $30 million a month by some estimates) from charging duties on overland and port trade.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.