CNN Host Reminds John Kirby That His Own Administration Revoked Houthis’ Terror Designation


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CNN host Sara Sidner reminded National Security Council spokesman John Kirby Friday that President Joe Biden’s administration revoked the terrorist designation of the Houthi rebels.

American and British aircraft carried out air strikes against multiple targets in Yemen after the Iranian-backed rebels launched over two dozen attacks on merchant ships that forced vessels to avoid the Red Sea. Secretary of State Antony Blinken revoked the terrorist designation of the Houthi rebels in February 2021, saying he was doing so to alleviate a humanitarian crisis stemming from the civil war between the rebels and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. (RELATED: Biden Takes Heat From Fellow Democrats After US Carries Out Strikes Against Foreign Rebels)


“We — we do have to ask this, because in February of 2021, Secretary Blinken actually revoked the terror designation of the Houthis saying in a statement that the decision was a recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen at the time,” Sidner told Kirby. “What do you make of this decision, and does it need to be reconsidered?”

“Humanitarian situation, which is not completely alleviated, obviously, so what I will tell you is that we’re reviewing that designation right now,” Kirby responded. “We haven’t made a decision about whether we’re going to revoke it or not, or change it again, or not — or not, but I can tell you, we’re looking at that real hard. Again, the Houthis have a decision to make, and they need to make the right one now, certainly in the wake of the strikes last night.” (RELATED: Biden Says Houthis Are A Terrorist Group Despite Taking Them Off The List Years Ago)

The Trump administration designated the Iranian-backed rebels as a foreign terrorist organization in January 2021, Newsweek reported. The Trump administration supported Saudi intervention against the Houthi rebels, with President Donald Trump vetoing a resolution that would have ended support for the Saudi involvement.

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