The Iran-backed Houthis are not committed to reaching a solution to the war in Yemen, and their offensive on Marib must stop, the US ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday.
“Houthi actions to date do not lead us to believe they are committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said during a UN Security Council meeting on Yemen.
Despite the US stepping up its diplomacy in Yemen and President Joe Biden appointing a special envoy for the conflict, the Houthis have continued to escalate their offensive on Marib and attacks on Saudi Arabia and civilians inside the Kingdom.
“We condemn the Houthis for their violence against IDP sites on the outskirts of Marib, as well as the almost daily drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia,” the US diplomat said.
“The Houthi offensive in Marib continues to take Yemeni lives, including those of internally displaced persons,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Marib is one of the Yemeni government’s last strongholds in the north.
Analysts have said that President Joe Biden’s decision to remove the Houthis from the US terror list and remove its leaders from the Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) list has emboldened the group.
Saudi Arabia, major European capitals, and the United States have all welcomed ceasefire proposals; however, the Houthis have so far refused to halt fighting.
Thomas-Greenfield welcomed Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government’s commitment to reach a ceasefire and engage in political talks to end the yearslong conflict.
She urged the Iran-backed group to respond and engage productively with efforts for peace.
“Enough of the violence. And enough of the violations. It’s time for the Houthis to respond to the proposal for a nationwide ceasefire. And it’s time they respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including obligations regarding the protection of civilians,” the US ambassador said.