The United States will “keep up” pressure on the Iran-backed Houthi militia, the State Department said Monday, days after the Biden administration announced its intention to revoke the designation of the group as a terrorist organization.
“The Houthis are malign actors,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters, adding that their conduct was “reprehensible.”
“I think we will certainly keep up the pressure on the leadership” of the Houthis, Price said.
Price condemned the repeated rocket attacks against civilians in Saudi Arabia, as well as the kidnapping of US citizens.
The US official said Washington was committed to helping Riyadh defend its territory. Price said the US wanted to reduce tensions, while continuing to stand by Saudi Arabia.
Last week, the State Department informed Congress that it would reverse the Trump administration's decision, which designated the Houthis as a terrorist organization.
Humanitarian groups and the United Nations heavily criticized the Trump administration's designation, saying that it would further worsen the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. This was echoed by Biden, who said a priority of his was to end the war in Yemen.
Nevertheless, the Houthis continued firing rockets at Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly voiced his willingness for a political solution to the yearslong war in neighboring Yemen.