U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) joined several other Republican colleagues in urging the Biden administration to designate a militant organization in Yemen as a terrorist organization in light of the recent conflict in Israel.
Britt, along with 14 other Republican senators, signed a letter asking U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken to re-designate Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).
In February 2021, Blinken revoked the Ansarallah’s former FTO designation. Blinken cited the “dire humanitarian situation in Yemen” as a reason for his decision.
“We have listened to warnings from the United Nations, humanitarian groups, and bipartisan members of Congress, among others, that the designations could have a devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to basic commodities like food and fuel,” Blinken wrote at the time. “The revocations are intended to ensure that relevant U.S. policies do not impede assistance to those already suffering what has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. By focusing on alleviating the humanitarian situation in Yemen, we hope the Yemeni parties can also focus on engaging in dialogue.”
The Republican lawmakers suggested Iran may financially back Ansarallah and that the group has launched attacks against Israel.
“On October 20, 2023, a U.S. Navy warship reportedly shot down several long-range cruise missiles and drones that Houthi terrorists launched from Yemen toward Israel,” the letter reads. “Furthermore, on October 23, Houthi drones exploded near Israel’s border with Egypt, and on October 31, the Houthis launched additional drones and several ballistic missiles toward southern Israel.”
The letter also claims the Houthis possess “one of the most sophisticated arsenals of ballistic missiles and drones among Iran’s allies and proxies,” which they used to carry out “1,000 missile attacks and 350 drone strikes against cities and key infrastructure” inside Saudi Arabia.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines international terrorism as ‘violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups who are inspired by, or associated with, designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations,” the letter concludes. “The Houthis clearly meet that definition: the group conducts their operations in concert with Iran—the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism — and, in specific, the IRGC, which again is itself an FTO. Despite being nearly 1,400 miles away from Israel, the Houthis have made a deliberate choice to engage in terrorism against the United States’ partners and allies, enabled by Iran. Therefore, we urge you to re-designate the group an FTO immediately.”
“An ongoing posture of appeasement by the Biden Administration only emboldens the Iranian regime to continue its barbaric proxy attacks on innocent children, women, and men, and this is evidenced in the Houthi’s recent terrorist attacks that have been intercepted by defensive actions by the United States and Saudi Arabia,” Britt added. “It is imperative that America sends a message of complete condemnation of Iran and its proxies’ violence, as well as unwavering support toward our allies in the region. The Houthis are a terrorist organization, and this Administration should treat them as such while reimposing a comprehensive, maximum-pressure sanctions campaign on all Iranian terror proxies. In order to achieve peace, now is the time for strength.”
Last week, Britt participated in a panel at a Jewish temple in Birmingham with Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl. There, she argued for a more aggressive foreign policy.
She also helped introduce the “Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act” with U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and 12 other U.S. Senators. This bill would not only designate Ansarallah an FTO but impose sanctions.
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