A top spokesman for the Iran-backed Houthi terrorist movement in Yemen threatened attacks on international oil tankers this weekend after the legitimate government of the country revealed a Houthi attack on the al-Dhabba oil terminal.
Yemen has endured a civil war between its legitimate government, backed by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Gulf states, and the Shiite Houthi terrorist movement, backed by Iran, since 2015, when the Houthis overthrew then-President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and took over the capital city, Sana’a. Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia and has since stepped down; the Yemeni government currently operates out of the southern port city of Aden.
The Houthis – a jihadist organization whose official slogan is “Allahu akbar, death to the United States, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory for Islam” – lost their official designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in America during the first month of leftist President Joe Biden’s term in office. Biden choosing to no longer list the group as terrorists removed major barriers to their funding, outraging Gulf neighbors that dealt with them as a threat on a regular basis.
The months following the Houthis’ delisting saw an escalation of bombings and other attacks not just against the Yemeni government, but against oil facilities in neighboring Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials warned in March that the country could not guarantee its expected oil production and refining if the Houthis continued to sabotage its oil industry with impunity.