Nov 7 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C– Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues recently sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to re-designate Iran-backed Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in the wake of the group’s repeated brazen attacks against Israel. 

The Trump Administration designated the Houthis as an FTO in January 2021, however the Biden Administration reversed the designation in February 2021, citing humanitarian concerns. Following years of Iranian support, the Houthis have one of the most sophisticated arsenals of ballistic missiles and drones among Iran’s allies and proxies, which they have used to target U.S. partners and interests.  

“Re-designating the Houthis as an FTO would send a powerful message that the United States views this group as a clear threat to our Allies and partners and to regional stability in the Middle East. Since Hamas’s savage terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, the Houthis have launched three attacks against the Jewish state and promised to carry out more strikes ‘until the Israeli aggression stops,’” the senators wrote. 

“While the Houthi movement’s Iranian backers chant ‘Death to America, Death to Israel,’ its own doctrine is replete with virulent anti-Semitism and calls for genocide, including its own chant of ‘Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews.’ The Houthi’s alliance with Iran has allowed the IRGC to apply sustained military pressure against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Between 2015 and 2022, the Houthis carried out nearly 1,000 missile attacks and 350 drone strikes against cities and key infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia alone, including against oil facilities, airports, and military sites,” the senators continued

“Despite being nearly 1,400 miles away from Israel, the Houthis have made a deliberate choice to engage in Iran-enabled terrorism against the United States’ partners and allies. Therefore, we urge you to re-designate the group an FTO immediately,” the senators concluded.

Read the full letter HERE.