Washington has ways of getting messages to the Iran-backed Houthis, a senior US official said Tuesday, adding that the war in Yemen must stop.
“We do have ways of getting messages to the Houthis and we are using those channels very aggressively,” US Special Envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking told reporters during a briefing at the State Department.
“Ending this war through a lasting political solution is the only solution is the only means to end the humanitarian crisis that is devastating,” he said.
The United States is "very aggressively" using back channels to communicate with Yemen's #Houthis, #US Special Envoy for #Yemen Timothy Lenderking says.https://t.co/7Azp88hPmg pic.twitter.com/3v7f0QWwpr— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) February 16, 2021
Lenderking shied away from directly answering what alternative paths the US could pursue if the Houthis refuse to halt their attacks.
The US official, who recently returned from a trip to the region, added that the Houthis must stop attacking Saudi Arabia and using it as “target practice.”
On Tuesday, the Biden administration's decision to revoke the terrorist designation against the Houthis and its leaders came into effect.
Meanwhile, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price called on Yemen's Houthis to stop their offensive on Marib. Marib is one of the final government strongholds in the north of the country.
“Marib is controlled by the legitimate government of Yemen. This assault will only increase the number of internally
displaced persons and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” he said in a statement.
“The Houthis’ assault on Marib is the action of a group not committed to peace or to ending the war afflicting the people of
Yemen,” Price said.