A group of Iranian-backed extremists that Democrat President Joe Biden removed from the official Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list reportedly launched attacks against Saudi Arabia over the weekend.
“The Saudi-led coalition said early on Sunday that the Iran-aligned Houthi group launched four attacks on the kingdom that damaged civilian cars and homes but caused no casualties,” Reuters reported. “Saudi state news agency (SPA) said one attack targeted a water desalination plant in the city of Al-Shaqeeq, an Aramco facility in Jizan, a power station in the southern Dhahran al Janub city, and a gas facility in Khamis Mushait.”
The Saudi-led coalition said that the latest attack included the use of ballistic missiles, drones, and cruise missiles. They said that they were monitoring enemy drone activity and had shot down a ballistic missile that targeted civilians.
BREAKING: pictures of damages caused to civilian facilities by Houthi terrorist attacks targeting water desalination plant in Al-Shaqeeq and the Aramco facility in Jazan, Saudi Arabia – (pics via @SPAregions ) pic.twitter.com/NfFRbPo4WM
— حسن سجواني 🇦🇪 Hassan Sajwani (@HSajwanization) March 19, 2022
The Trump administration designated the Houthis, also known as Ansarallah, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under the leadership of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Biden administration quickly reversed the terrorist designation after taking over in early 2021.
The Council on Foreign Relations noted:
The main defense of the Trump administration decision to call the Houthis terrorists is that they repeatedly commit acts of terrorism. QED. And the main critique of the Biden administration’s revocation of that decision is equally simple: the Houthis have long committed, and continue to commit, acts of terror. They should be designated an FTO because they are an FTO.
“These designations will provide additional tools to confront terrorist activity and terrorism by Ansarallah, a deadly Iran-backed militia group in the Gulf region,” Pompeo said in a statement at the time. “The designations are intended to hold Ansarallah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping.”
Pompeo had said that if the Houthis did not behave like a terrorist organization, they would not be designated as a terrorist organization.
The statement added:
We need not look further than the callous attack targeting the civilian airport in Aden on December 30, in which the Houthis struck the arrival terminal killing 27 individuals, including three staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, to see the destruction the Houthis continue to inflict upon civilians and civilian infrastructure. The Yemeni and Saudi governments as well as multiple experts have directly tied this attack to Ansarallah. …
It has led a brutal campaign that has killed many people, continues to destabilize the region, and denies Yemenis a peaceful solution to the conflict in their country. Rather than distance itself from the Iranian regime, it has embraced the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism even more. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has supplied Ansarallah with missiles, drones, and training, allowing the group to target airports and other critical infrastructure.
Not only did Biden lift the terrorist designation on the Yemeni Houthis, he also announced in 2021 that the U.S. would no longer support Saudi Arabia’s war against the terrorists.