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Canada considers designating Houthis terrorist entity | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Houthis on the Red Sea coast , December 5, 2023

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The federal government is studying the possibility to classify the Yemeni Houthis on the list of terrorist entities after their attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea, Radio-Canada has learned.

We can confirm that our security and intelligence agencies are assessing whether the Houthis should be included on the list of terrorist entities under Canadian law, a spokesperson for the minister told Radio-Canada on Wednesday. of Public Safety, Dominic LeBlanc.

We will share more information on this subject in due course, added the spokesperson, Jean-Sébastien Comeau, in an email.

Earlier on Wednesday, the United States announced that it would once again designate the Yemeni group close to Iran as a terrorist entity.

However, this sanction will only become effective in 30 days, on February 16, a senior American official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters about the measure intended to put pressure on the Yemeni group. /p>

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The United States removed the Houthis in February 2021 from its list of terrorist organizations. They judged at the time that this designation complicated the response to a very serious humanitarian crisis in Yemen, a country at war of which the group controls a large part.

The war between the Houthis and government forces, supported by an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia, was triggered in 2014. Since then, there have been hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of displaced people, in addition colossal challenges such as epidemics, acute hunger and economic collapse, against a backdrop of declining international aid.

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A refugee camp in western Yemen's Hodeiba province

On Tuesday, the Canadian government remained rather vague about the possibility of designating the Houthis as a terrorist entity, arguing that it is a complex process that requires interdepartmental consultations.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The Houthis, who control large swaths of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa, have in recent weeks increased attacks on ships that they suspect of being linked to Israel in the Red Sea, disrupting maritime traffic in this essential area for world trade.

They claim to be acting in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, while the enclave besieged by Israel has been under intense bombardment since the Hamas attack on October 7.

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