Jan. 11 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced his plans to designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a international terrorist group within the days earlier than the Trump administration palms over management of the nation to the incoming Biden administration.

Pompeo introduced the State Division will notify Congress of his intent to designate the Houthis as a Specifically Designated World Terrorist entity in addition to three of its leaders late Sunday in an announcement.

“These designations will present extra instruments to confront terrorist exercise and terrorism by Ansarallah, a lethal Iran-backed militia group within the gulf area,” america’ prime diplomat mentioned, referring to the Houthi group by its official identify. “The designations are meant to carry Ansarallah accountable for its terrorist acts, together with cross-border assaults threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and business delivery.”

The Trump administration has been imposing sanctions concentrating on Iran since 2018 however has elevated its efforts since President Donald Trump misplaced November’s presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden.

Pompeo mentioned within the assertion that the designations, that are to enter impact Jan. 19, are meant to advance efforts to realize a peaceable resolution to the struggle in Yemen that sees the Saudi-led coalition preventing the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

For the reason that struggle erupted in 2014, an estimated 4.three million folks have been displaced because of the battle and a few 24.1 million require some type of humanitarian assist, in response to the web site of the United Nations Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The U.N. workplace has mentioned the battle has turned Yemen into “the world’s worst humanitarian disaster” and it has resulted in practically 250,000 struggle lifeless.

In late November, U.N. Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres warned that Yemen was at risk of falling into the worst famine seen in a long time.

A discount in U.N. aid operations, a failure to maintain assist for Yemen’s financial system and locusts and floods destroying crops have exacerbated points brought on by the civil struggle, he mentioned.

“I urge all these with affect to behave urgently on these points to stave off disaster and I additionally request that everybody avoids taking any motion that might make the already dire state of affairs even worse,” he mentioned.

Addressing considerations that the designations will hamper already careworn humanitarian exercise in Yemen, Pompeo mentioned the State Division and the Treasury will put in place measures to scale back the black-listings’ impacts on humanitarian assist.

“We’ve expressed our readiness to work with related officers on the United Nations, with worldwide and non-governmental organizations and different worldwide donors to deal with these implications,” he mentioned, including the Treasury is ready to supply licenses, together with to NGOs, that may permit for sure actions to continued.

“We’re working to make sure that important lifelines and engagements that assist a political observe and return to dialogue proceed to the utmost extent attainable,” Pompeo mentioned.

The announcement got here lower than two weeks after a terrorist assault that has been blamed on the Houthis concentrating on an airport within the Yemen metropolis of Aden killed 27 folks.