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US Slaps Sanctions on Houthis in Administration’s Final Days

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday announced Washington’s plan to blacklist the Yemeni Houthi movement, and designate the Iran-backed group a terrorist organization the day before a new administration takes office. The decision is likely to complicate the United Nations’ efforts to mediate between the Houthis and other local forces fighting over control of Yemen since 2015, some with the support of a powerful Saudi-led international coalition. The conflict has caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, and the State Department promised to include exemptions in its January 19 measures that will enable aid groups to operate and deliver necessities to millions of Yemenis in need. The sanctions are also expected to further box in President-elect Joe Biden, as he attempts to reengage Tehran and curb its nuclear efforts, missile program and regional aggression through negotiation.