Biden Admin Considers Not Calling Terrorists ‘Terrorists’ If They Stop Shooting Rockets At Ships

(Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Biden administration is considering removing a designation label from an Islamic terrorist group in a bid to solve current Middle Eastern conflicts through diplomatic means, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The Houthis, an Iranian-backed and Yemini-based terrorist organization, have launched a series of missile and drone attacks against commercial shipping liners and U.S. and coalition forces in the Red Sea in recent months out of support for Hamas, another terrorist group currently at war with Israel. Though the Houthis are currently listed on the U.S. Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) list, the Biden administration would consider removing the Houthis from the list if the group halted its attacks in the region, according to Bloomberg. (RELATED: Biden Admin Scrambles To Tell Tehran It Had ‘No Involvement’ On Israeli Strike Against Iranian Generals: REPORT)

“My hope is that we can find diplomatic off-ramps,” Tim Lenderking, the Biden administration’s special envoy for Yemen, told reporters during a press briefing on Wednesday. “To find ways to deescalate and allow us to pull back, eventually, the designation and of course to end the military strikes on Houthis’ military capability.”

The Biden administration has flip-flopped on its view of the Houthis during President Joe Biden’s tenure. The Houthis were removed from U.S. terrorist designation lists shortly after Biden took office in 2021, citing concerns over what humanitarian impacts it might have on Yemen.

(Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Armed supporters of Yemen’s Huthi rebels attend a rally in solidarity with the Palestinian Hamas movement’s armed resistance against Israel in the capital Sanaa on January 29, 2024, amid the continuing battles between Israeli forces and Hamas in Gaza. (Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)

INTERNATIONAL WATERS RED SEA, YEMEN – NOVEMBER 20: This handout screen grab captured from a video shows Yemen’s Houthi fighters’ takeover of the Galaxy Leader Cargo in the Red Sea coast off Hudaydah, on November 20, 2023 in the Red Sea, Yemen. On Monday, the Houthi movement in Yemen released footage and photos of the Houthi-run coastguard taking over the Israeli-linked Galaxy Leader Vessel in the Red Sea, which had 52 people onboard. Galaxy Leader is owned by Galaxy Maritime Ltd in the Isle of Man and is linked to Israeli businessman Abraham Ungar through Ray Car Carriers. (Photo by Houthi Movement via Getty Images)

The Biden administration returned the Houthis to the SDGT list in January following a spate of attacks against Western vessels in the Red Sea. They were not, however, relisted to the Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Lenderking’s remarks on Wednesday that the Biden administration may remove the Houthis SDGT list once again represents a potential approach to ending conflict with the Houthi terrorists through diplomacy. The Biden administration has admitted that its efforts to take a defensive military position in the Red Sea haven’t worked nor stopped the Houthis attacks.

Yemeni soldiers stand on their position on a mountain on the frontline of fighting with Houthis in Nihem area, near Sanaa, Yemen January 27, 2018. Picture taken January 27, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Yemeni soldiers stand on their position on a mountain on the frontline of fighting with Houthis in Nihem area, near Sanaa, Yemen January 27, 2018. Picture taken January 27, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

The Houthis did not cease their attacks even as several Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Middle East did at the behest of Tehran. Even though the Houthis receive funding, equipment and intelligence from Iran, the terrorist group operates more independently than the rest of the country’s terror proxy network.

“We would certainly study that but not assume it’s an automatic thing,” Lenderking told Bloomberg in response to a question as to whether the Biden administration is offering the Houthis a “quid pro quo” to halt the Red Sea attacks in exchange for being delisted from the SDGT.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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