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OffbeatTrump administration could name Houthi rebels a terrorist group

23:41  08 november  2018
23:41  08 november  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Houthi rebels could hide mobile missile launchers anywhere from inside culverts to beneath highway overpasses. They are easily moved for hasty launches. Dealing with that problem requires a well-orchestrated system by the Saudi-led coalition, extending from satellites to troops on the ground, to

A dozen companies and 13 individuals, including Iranian and Chinese nationals, targeted in response to a January missile test and support for Houthi rebels .

Trump administration could name Houthi rebels a terrorist group© Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized government take part in military operations on Houthi positions in Yemen’s port city of Hodeida. The Trump administration is considering designating Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization, people familiar with the discussions said, as part of a campaign to end that country’s civil war and pile pressure on their ally Iran.

The terrorist designation, which would inject an unpredictable new element into fragile diplomatic efforts to initiate peace talks, has been discussed periodically since at least 2016, according to several of the individuals. But the matter has received renewed examination in recent months as the White House seeks to stake out a tough stance on Iranian-linked groups across the Middle East, they said.

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Highlighting the abuse of civilians by Houthi rebels , the Norwegian Refugee Council announced on Monday that Houthi rebels abducted twelve of its Saudi Arabia’s calls for the UN to intervene against Houthi activities and the exiled government in Aden’s demands to brand them a terrorist

Why Trump Stopped Short of Designating the IRGC a Terrorist Group . Punishing Iran’s Islamic Trump blasted the Revolutionary Guard as a "corrupt personal terror force and militia" of Iran's That proximity has occasionally boiled over into minor incidents that could easily have escalated, such as

A formal terrorist designation by the State Department could further isolate the rebels, members of a minority Shiite Muslim sect who seized control of Yemen’s capital in late 2014, but critics warn that such a move might also worsen already dire humanitarian conditions without pushing the conflict closer to a conclusion.

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The individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations, said the administration has considered an array of potential actions against the rebels, including lesser measures to sanction the group, but said no decision has been made. It was not immediately clear how far deliberations about the terror designation, which is made by the State Department, has progressed.

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President Trump ’s administration is now preparing to further dismantle key Obama-era limits on While administration officials have agreed they will keep in place an important constraint for such Saudi Arabia shoots down Houthi missile aimed at Riyadh palace. Yemeni rebels say they fired

US President Donald Trump 's administration is considering a proposal that could lead to potentially designating Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, according to US Donald Trump considers designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group .

The rise of the Houthi movement, which has received military backing from Iran, has sparked an extended military operation by Gulf nations that fear the expansion of Tehran’s reach on the Arabian peninsula. Since 2015, jets from a Saudi-led coalition have bombed Houthi-controlled areas while allied ground forces have attacked rebel positions.

The war has also drawn the United States into a conflict with few clear American interests, generating criticism from lawmakers who disapprove of U.S. involvement in the war. The Pentagon provides aerial refueling to Gulf planes as they conduct missions over Yemen and shares intelligence with coalition militaries.

Opposition has grown in the wake of repeated coalition strikes on Yemeni civilians and the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi monarchy, by a team dispatched from Riyadh.

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The war has also triggered a massive humanitarian crisis in what was already the poorest country in the Middle East. Last month, the United Nations intensified its warnings about the situation in Yemen, saying that half the population was facing pre-famine conditions.

Consideration of new steps to crack down on the Houthis occurs as Western diplomats step up their calls for the group to hold talks with the official Yemeni government, which has international backing but limited influence on the ground.

Last week Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged a halt to fighting in Yemen, even as forces backed by the Gulf coalition move closer to a long-awaited assault on the strategic port city of Hodeida, which the Houthis control.

Some officials, particularly at the State Department, have resisted moves to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group because they believe it might make it more difficult for U.N. negotiators to get peace discussions off the ground. A designation would be seen as a major escalation of U.S. pressure against the group.

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Trump has vowed to send terrorist suspects captured overseas to Guantánamo Bay, and this week Such deep experience with J-Soc makes it a likely instrument for counter- terrorism in the Trump era as The bodies of at least 90 Houthi rebels were taken to a hospital in the Red Sea city of Hodeida

Two Trump administration officials said the "screamingly urgent problem" is that Hezbollah is The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization and has hit the group with sanctions before. U.S. officials said Hezbollah is also helping train and advice Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen who are being

U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths is hoping to bring the Yemeni parties together later this month. His last attempt ended in failure earlier this fall after the rebels refused to travel to Europe for a planned meeting unless certain conditions were met.

A designation would likely result in the freezing of financial assets of the Houthi movement, which controls government institutions in areas under its control, travel prohibitions and punishments for those believed to providing “material support” to the group.

Jason Blazakis, who previously oversaw the State Department office on terrorism designations, said such a move against the Houthis would be mostly symbolic. The rebels do not use the international financial system, and few Houthi figures would be affected by a ban on travel to the United States.

The designation would, however, allow the U.S. government to prosecute individuals believed to be aiding the group, said Blazakis, who now is a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Typically organizations that receive a State Department terrorist groupdesignation have a history of actions seen as threatening U.S. national security. Designated groups include al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also active in Yemen, and branches of the Islamic State.

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Donald Trump considers naming Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a TERROR GROUP in latest swipe at the But members of his administration have been pushing for heightened sanctions. Iran was one of the Naming Iran's single most powerful military and political institution as a terrorist group could

The Trump administration has said it was “officially putting Iran on notice” in reaction to an Iranian missile test and an attack on a Saudi warship by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen but gave no details about how Washington intended to respond. The threat was made on Wednesday by the

In October 2016, the U.S. military fired Tomahawk missiles at coastal radar sites in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen after a series of cruise-missile attacks on Navy ships in the area.

The Houthis are also blamed for attacks on vessels belonging to the Saudi-led coalition and commercial vessels transiting waters off Yemen.

The 2016 attack on U.S. ships prompted a similar discussion within the Obama administration, but officials decided at that time not to pursue the designation.

In recent months, Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton have outlined a more muscular policy on Iran designed to halt its support for proxy groups across the region. This month the administration renewed energy and other sanctions that were lifted under 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which President Trump pulled out of earlier this year.

U.S. officials say Iran has provided advanced military technology to the Houthis but that it has closer ties to other organizations, such as Lebanese Hezbollah.

Designation of the Houthis would be welcomed by Saudi Arabia, which took a similar step in 2014. The United States has continued its involvement in the war in Yemen largely because its desire to support Riyadh, a close economic and counterterrorism ally which has been hit repeatedly by Houthi missiles.

Aid groups fear a designation could worsen suffering among Yemeni civilians because it could require them to obtain licenses from the U.S. government before they are able to continue their work in Houthi-controlled areas. Already millions of Yemenis are unable to access food and medicine as the conflict stymies trade and creates a spike in preventable diseases.

Officials said the administration is also examining other steps, short of a terrorist designation, it could take to sanction the Houthis. In 2015, the Obama administration placed individual sanctions on the group’s leader.

This spring, the Trump administration sanctioned five Iranians it alleged helped the Houthis acquire or employ ballistic missiles.

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Kareem Fahim in Istanbul, and John Hudson, Karen DeYoung and Julie Tate contributed to this report.


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