Yemen war: US to designate Houthi rebels as terrorist organisation

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  • Yemen crisis

image copyrightReutersimage captionThe majority of Yemen's population lives in areas under the Houthi movement's control

The US plans to designate Yemen's rebel Houthi movement as a terrorist group, despite warnings that it may threaten aid operations in the war-torn country.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the aim was to hold the Houthis accountable for cross-border attacks threatening civilians, infrastructure and shipping.

It would also deter "malign activity" by their backer Iran, he added.

Aid organisations have said they may be prevented from operating in areas where millions are on the brink of famine.

"This is pure diplomatic vandalism," said the president of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband.

A Houthi leader accused President Donald Trump's administration of terrorism and said the movement reserved the right to respond to any designation.

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