Three sources have told Reuters that the administration of outgoing US President Donald Trump is going to blacklist the resistance movement.
According to two of the sources quoted by Reuters, the decision could be announced as soon as Monday.
The decision also intends to designate three of Ansarullah’s leaders, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim, as ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists.’
The move comes as the administration of US President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take over from the Trump administration on January 20.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project [ACLED], a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives.
The Ansarullah movement, backed by armed forces, has been defending Yemen against the Saudi-led alliance, preventing the aggressors from fulfilling the objectives of the atrocious war.
Diplomats and aid groups worry the US designation of Ansarullah could threaten peace talks and complicate efforts to combat the world’s largest humanitarian crisis caused by the Saudi-led coalition’s aggression against the Yemeni nation, Reuters reported.
“This serves no interest at all,” Ryan Crocker, a retired US ambassador who served in the Middle East, said of the designation.
“The Ansraullah are an integral part of Yemeni society. They always have been. This is making a strategic enemy out of a local force that has been part of Yemen for generations,” he added.
In November UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Yemen was in “imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades,” warning against any unilateral moves as the United States threatened to blacklist the Ansarullah.
The designation has been the subject of weeks of fierce debate within the Trump administration and internal disagreements over how to carve out exceptions for aid shipments held up a final decision on the blacklisting, which has been in the works for weeks, multiple sources have said.
However, international relief officials have said such measures have often failed to unblock the flow of aid because banks and insurance companies are worried about running afoul of US sanctions, and that this could also be the case with Yemen.