Iran-backed Houthi militia targets Saudi oil facilities after being removed from terror list by Biden

President Joe Biden removed an Iranian-sponsored terrorist group known for attacking oil facilities from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.

On Friday, the Houthi militia group blew up multiple Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

“At (1725), Saudi Aramco’s Bulk Plant in Jeddah was targeted with an act of aggression, the early indications of which suggest that it was targeted by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia,” Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki, the official spokesperson of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen said, according to a report by the Saudi Press Agency.

“A fire erupted in (2) tanks in the oil facility; the fire was controlled, and no injuries or loss of life were recorded. This hostile escalation targets oil facilities, and aims to undermine energy security and the backbone of global economy. These hostile attacks had no impact or repercussions in any way, shape or form on public life in Jeddah City,” the report noted.

Huthi rebels announced they were responsible for the attacks noting, “We did several attacks with drones and ballistic missiles,” including an “Aramco installation in Jeddah (and) vital installations in Riyadh.”

Several videos online showed footage of the attacks and one tweet noted that the “Saudi Ministry of Energy said it will not hold responsibility for any shortage of oil supplies to the global market caused by Houthi attacks.”

The Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will take place as planned in Jeddah this weekend, despite the attack on the oil plant and the massive plume of smoke still reportedly billowing up from the site.

This marked the second time the Houthis – who are sometimes referred to as Ansarallah – have launched cruise missiles on the North Jiddah facility, the Associated Press reported. The first instance was in November 2020 and then-President Donald Trump designated the organization as an official Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).

Shortly after taking office, however, President Joe Biden’s administration removed the Houthis from the terrorist lists which is something Elliot Abrams with the Council on Foreign Relations vehemently disagreed with.

“The main defense of the Trump administration decision to call the Houthis terrorists is that they repeatedly commit acts of terrorism. QED. And the main critique of the Biden administration’s revocation of that decision is equally simple: the Houthis have long committed, and continue to commit, acts of terror. They should be designated an FTO because they are an FTO,” Abrams wrote.

Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement at the time and outlined the importance the designation had in the bid to hold the terrorist group accountable.

“These designations will provide additional tools to confront terrorist activity and terrorism by Ansarallah, a deadly Iran-backed militia group in the Gulf region,” he had said. “The designations are intended to hold Ansarallah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping.”

Needless to say, many threw up their hands in disgust at the fact that Biden removed the Houthis from the terrorist watch lists.

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Ashley Hill

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