The move comes as Houthis launched dozens of attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea in response to Israel’s war on Gaza which has killed more than 24,000 people.
The Biden administration is expected to announce plans to redesignate Houthi rebels in Yemen as global terrorists, according to a U.S. official who confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday.
If made, the move would reverse the original decision made by the State Department that revoked the Houthi group as a foreign terrorist organisation by the Donald Trump administration.
As per the American outlet, the move 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.”
An unnamed State Department official said to CBS, “This decision has nothing to do with our view of the Houthis and their reprehensible conduct, including attacks against civilians and the kidnapping of American citizens.”
Earlier this week, Houthi rebels in Yemen struck a US-owned and operated container ship with an anti-ship ballistic missile off the coast of the country.
On Monday, the U.S. military said no injuries or significant damage were reported.
The Yemeni rebel group claimed responsibility for the attack, stating, “All American and British ships and warships involved in the aggression against our country are considered hostile targets.”
Since Israel’s war in Gaza began, the Houthis have been attacking ships in the area they say are linked to Israel or bound for Israeli ports.