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U.S. to stop supporting Saudi Arabia's campaign against Yemen, remove terrorist designation

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is moving to revoke the designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, citing the need to mitigate one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

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Topics: U.S.    SAUDI ARABIA    YEMEN   

A State Department official confirmed the move Friday after members of Congress were notified of the administration’s plans.

The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the removal changed nothing about the Biden administration’s views of the Houthis.

“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 said.

The move comes a day after Biden announced an end to offensive support to Saudi Arabia’s campaign against the Houthis.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has called on the UK to follow the U.S. government in ending its support for the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen.

Sarah Waldron of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “The US Government is the biggest arms dealer in the world, so this could be an important step towards ending this terrible war. It also puts the spotlight firmly on to the UK government and companies that have armed, supported and enabled the brutal bombardment.

“Saudi-led forces have killed thousands of civilians and bombed schools, hospitals and homes. No matter how dire the crisis has become, they have been able to count on the uncritical political and military support of the UK government. That support must end, and so must have the arms sales that have done so much damage.”

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