Blast heard in Riyadh as Saudi Arabia intercepts ‘hostile target’

24 Janvier, 2021, 15:58 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Saudi-led coalition foils 2 Houthi attacks - Xinhua | English.news.cn

"As noted by Secretary-Designate Blinken, the State Department has initiated a review of Ansarallah's [Houthi] terrorist designations", the spokesperson said on Friday.

"We will not publicly discuss or comment on internal deliberations regarding that review; however, with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen we are working as fast as we can to conduct the review and make a determination", the spokesperson said. The leader of the movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, his brother and military commander Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi and another Ansar Allah commander Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim were listed as global terrorists.

The administration of new US President Joe Biden said on Friday it has initiated a review of the designation, which went into effect on January 19 ahead of Biden entering the White House.

Yemen is in the world's worst humanitarian crisis. According to the United Nations, over 24 million Yemenis, about 80% of the country's population, are in need of humanitarian aid in the midst of the conflict and pandemic, as the number of people forced to leave their homes exceeds 3 million.

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Aid groups and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned against a possible designation, which was one of the parting shots of the Trump administration, saying Yemen was in imminent danger of the worst starvation the world has seen for decades.

The talks are part of confidence-building measures aimed at restarting peace negotiations last held in Sweden in December 2018, when the two parties agreed to exchange 15,000 detainees split between the Iran-aligned Houthi movement and the Saudi-led coalition that has been battling the group since 2015.

On Tuesday, the United States exempted aid groups, the United Nations, the Red Cross and the export of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices from its designation, but the carve outs are not enough to allay UN fears that Washington's move would push Yemen into a large-scale starvation.

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