According to Washington, the Houthis are accountable for recent assaults on Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
They’re also accountable for their involvement in prolonging the fight in Yemen, which is considered the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster.
US officials at the State Department and the White House have used strong rhetoric in their speeches and diplomatic maneuvers.
A solution for Yemen must be found by international standards, notably UN Resolution 2216.
The Houthis just fired a missile on the city of #Taiz, I’m hearing of several casualties.
These daily attacks are rarely reported, that doesn’t make them less true.
So before coming with ideas on how the Saudis need to give concessions to the Houthis, think of the Yemenis first.
— Baraa Shiban براء شيبان (@BShtwtr) January 27, 2022
A US State Department spokesman told Asharq Al-Awsat the review of such a decision continues, due to the bad conditions in Yemen and the inability to negotiate a truce.
Truce and Political Dialogue
Even though he didn’t expand on the review process, he stated work is being done to improve Yemen’s humanitarian situation.
An unnamed official said the US identified no good role for Iran in Yemen.
“For this aspect, we have advocated communication between it and the nations of the region for the sake of stability and security,” the spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The US government will continue to stand with regional allies against “upsetting Houthi attacks” and hold the Houthis accountable for their heinous deeds.
The official cited US Special Envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking’s efforts to generate international agreement for an early and comprehensive ceasefire and political settlement.
Both Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni authorities backed a truce and political dialogue.
The source also complimented Oman for its “decisive and proactive regional role” in the Yemeni situation.
The US’ Stance
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the government is “closely scrutinizing” the Houthi strikes.
We condemn the overnight attack by the Houthis on the UAE and Saudi Arabia. These attacks, as well as recent airstrikes in Yemen, represent a troubling escalation that only exacerbates the suffering of the Yemeni people. We call on all parties to commit to a cease fire. pic.twitter.com/OZj9S5vVsz
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) January 24, 2022
Price stated “we will always stand with the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”
Price said at a news conference that Washington would keep working with friends and partners to hold Houthis responsible.
“We will keep holding the Houthis accountable. We’ll accomplish it in various ways. We’ve already utilized a few tools, and I expect we’ll use more in the next days and weeks,” Price said.
“To that end, we will not desist in our efforts to identify Houthi commanders and entities participating in military offensives that endanger people and regional security,” he stressed.
Norman Roule, a former CIA officer and current senior counselor to the “United Against Nuclear Iran” group, said Washington intended to compel the Houthis to return to genuine dialogue for a peaceful settlement.
Houthi attacks and comments show a “terrorist group.”
Roule told Asharq Al-Awsat Iran is aiding the Houthis. As a result, the gang has repeatedly denied diplomatic efforts and assaulted scores of innocent sites.
Relisting the Houthis as a terrorist organization will not be easy.
Several US government members feel the renaming will delay humanitarian efforts and prevent a political settlement.
“I don’t think the government will be able to do anything in that direction,” Roule added, citing the Houthis’ willingness to explore a political settlement after military defeats.
He said the US would keep sending Lenderking to investigate political solutions.
Roule said the Iranians have always isolated nuclear negotiations from regional and missile problems.
“Maybe Iran’s assaults on the UAE and Saudi Arabia are unrelated. However, the scale of the strike and the complexity of the weapons deployed by the Houthis necessitate Iranian involvement,” Roule said.
He said the UAE and Saudi Arabia are still relatively safe, despite recent incidents. The air defense forces and security agencies are skilled, but the Iranian-backed Houthi strikes threaten the millions of expatriates residing in these nations.
“The Houthi strikes are an attack on the worldwide community,” Roule noted.