The Saudi-led coalition announced on November 20 that it had intercepted a suicide drone that was launched by the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah.
Col. Turki Al-Malki, a spokesman for the coalition, said the drones were launched “systematically and deliberately” with the aim of targeting civilians and civilian objects in the southern region of Saudi Arabia.
This was the second such attack by the Houthis this week. The first drone attack took place two days ago. The Yemeni group intensified its drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia in the last few months.
The military escalation between Saudi Arabia and Ansar Allah comes amid reports of U.S. plans to designate the second as a “terrorist group.”
Western officials confirmed to AFP that the U.S. was preparing to declare Ansar Allah, which controls the Yemeni capital Sanaa and much of the country’s northern region, a terrorist group. The officials warned that this step will hinder the peace process in Yemen.
“The issue here is that if they are defined as a terrorist organization, that has many consequences,” a diplomat in the Gulf who oversees Yemen told AFP. “Some or many countries will have problems in dealing with them at all, and that can complicate the whole ‘peace’ process and the UN’s work.”
The Houthis are already under sanctions by the U.S., which is reportedly providing intelligence and military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. It is highly likely that such a designation is a part of the Trump’s administration anti-Iran campaign that was accelerated before the end of Trump’s presidency.
The designation of the Houthis, a popular movement, as a terrorist group may lead to a serious escalation in Yemen and further complicate the peace process.
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