The United States is not putting its faith in the Houthi militia despite lifting the group’s designation as a terrorist organization, the State Department said Friday.
“I don’t think we are putting our trust in the Houthi leadership, far from it in fact,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters during a phone call.
Price’s comments came hours after the State Department announced that it would revoke the terrorist designation of the Houthis and its leadership, which was made by the Trump administration last month.
Asked by Al Arabiya what gave Washington the confidence such a move would lead to the Iran-backed group returning to peace talks, Price said the US was putting a priority on diplomacy, “broadly.”
Price added that the US would continue to pressure the Houthis and look for individuals to sanction over their continued attacks against allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia.
“At the same time, it is true that we believe there is not a military solution to the conflict in Yemen,” he said.
Despite the US announcing its intention to reverse the Trump-era designation of the Houthis and President Joe Biden’s declaration that the US would no longer support “offensive operations” in Yemen, the group has continued to attack Saudi Arabia.
On Thursday, the Houthis claimed a drone attack on a civilian airplane at Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport and launched bomb-laden drones intercepted by the Arab Coalition.