State defends delisting of Yemen's Houthi rebels

The US State Department is defending its delisting of Yemen's Houthi rebels as a terrorist group. (Feb. 8)

Video Transcript

NED PRICE: This intent to revoke that designation has nothing to do with our view of the Houthis and their reprehensible conduct, including, as you mentioned, attacks against civilians and the kidnapping of American citizens among other moves. We are committed, as we again said last night, to helping Saudi Arabia defend its territory against further such attacks.

Our planned action, the secretary's intent to delist, is due, as I said before, to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation. We can do two things at once. We can ensure that we do not add to the suffering of Yemeni civilians-- Yemen now home to what is believed to be the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe-- while continuing to stand with Saudi Arabia in the face of these attacks from the Houthis.

I think, Rich, we'd been very clear that the Houthis are malign actors. Their-- their conduct, as I said before, is reprehensible. The way in which they have afflicted-- the manner in which they have inflicted suffering on the people of Yemen, the people they purport to govern, their neighbors, the threat they posed to our interests in Yemen several years back.

That is why we-- we can and will continue to keep up the pressure on the Ansarullah, on-- on the Houthi leadership, just as we take these steps that have received bipartisan-- strong bipartisan support to ensure that we are not worsening the humanitarian suffering of the people of Yemen. We can do both things at the same time.