BERIUT, LEBANON (3:00 P.M.) – Sources revealed to the Washington Post newspaper that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo intends to declare the Houthis (Ansarallah Movement) a terrorist organization within days.
The newspaper reported that the United Nations issued an appeal this week to the administration of US President Donald Trump about the potential humanitarian disaster in Yemen, ahead of an expected decision to designate the Houthis there as a terrorist organization, while US officials are preparing for a possible suspension of the $700 million aid program.
Officials familiar with the matter told the newspaper that in addition to the disclosure of new sanctions on Tehran, and after lengthy internal discussions, Pompeo is expected to announce the decision to designate the Houthis a terrorist organization, along with other steps to impose sanctions on them.
The Washington Post newspaper indicated that if the decision is implemented, individuals and groups that deal with the Houthis will be subject to financial penalties and the possibility of criminal prosecution, unless they are able to secure exceptions from the US government.
Officials said it was unclear whether the administration would quickly issue waivers that would allow US government employees and relief groups, which they fund, to continue their work.
A US State Department spokesman refused to discuss the possible classification of the Houthis.