U.S. to Declare Yemen’s Houthis a Terrorist Group, Raising Fears of Fueling a Famine

The State Department’s terrorist designation may be more symbolic than searing for the rebel movement, but it could aggravate Yemen’s human catastrophe.

Houthi rebels have waged war with the Saudi-backed government in Yemen for nearly six years.Credit…Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will designate the Houthi rebels in Yemen as a foreign terrorist organization, four U.S. officials familiar with the decision said on Sunday, deploying one of his last means of hard power against Saudi Arabia’s nemesis at the risk of exacerbating a famine in one of the world’s poorest nations.

It is not clear how the terrorist designation will inhibit the Houthi rebels, who have been at war with the Saudi-backed government in Yemen for nearly six years but, some analysts say, pose no direct threat to the United States.

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