Yemenis relieved by US blacklisting of Iran-backed Houthis

File photo : Houthi militia fighters
File photo : Houthi militia fighters

Washington’s decision to blacklist the Iran-backed Houthi group as a terrorist organization has brought about widespread relief in Yemen, with many urging the government in the country to invest the label in restoring power to legitimate state institutions. 

Yemeni politicians, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, have stressed the significance of the designation, adding that the Yemeni government must do the political work needed to get other countries to follow suit. 

This will succeed in isolating Houthi militias and forcing them to comply with peace efforts, they argued. 

“This firm American step was widely welcomed by Yemenis and ordinary citizens who are eager to be liberated from the Houthi group which has turned their lives into a living hell,” said Ibb province’s first deputy governor, Muhammad Abdul Wahid Aldaam. 

Aldaam relayed the frustration being felt across the country over the Houthis’ aggressive attempts to destroy the traditional Arab Yemeni identity, citing popular discontent towards Houthis playing the Iranian national anthem at most of their rallies and events. 

“The government must change the way it deals with Houthis now that they have become criminals in the eyes of the most powerful country in the world,” Aldaam emphasized, adding that authorities must not be deluded by weak arguments made by suspicious international organizations. 

He urged the government to also designate the Houthi group as a terrorist organization, explaining that this will discredit all those who sympathize with the Iran-allied militia and keep trying to find justifications for crimes it commits. 

“The Houthi group is a bloody terrorist organization that seeks to alter the identity of one of the most ancient peoples of the world with the logistical and strategic assistance of the world’s top sponsor of terrorism, Iran,” Aldaam reaffirmed. 

He went on to say that had it not been for the support they received from Iran, Houthis would not have been able to bomb civilian areas in Saudi Arabia and pose a serious threat to regional security. 

Asharq Al-Awsat