A missile attack from an Iranian-backed extremist group on a mosque and religious school has reportedly killed dozens of civilians in Yemen.
A Houthi ballistic missile attack on a mosque and a religious school killed and injured 29 civilians, including women and children, in the Yemeni province of Marib, the country’s information minister said in a statement on Twitter on Monday. Two ballistic missiles were used in the attack late on Sunday, Marib governor’s office said in a statement.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility by the Iranian-backed Houthis. … The war in Yemen and ensuring economic collapse as well as restrictions on imports to Houthi-held areas have caused what the United Nations says is the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with 16 million people facing starvation.
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 earlier this year.
“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 that 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.
Biden quickly reversed the Trump administration’s terrorist designation on the Houthis just weeks after taking office earlier this year.
“Biden’s administration is moving to revoke the designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, citing the need to mitigate one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters,” The Associated Press reported on February 5. “A State Department official confirmed the move Friday after members of Congress were notified of the administration’s plans. The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the removal changed nothing about the Biden administration’s views of the Houthis, who have targeted civilians and kidnapped Americans.”