(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (KUNA) -- The White House hinted that the United States and other western allies are reviewing potential terrorist designations for the Yemeni Houthi militias after the latter seized a cargo ship last week.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John F. Kirby said, "that seizure of the motor vessel Galaxy leader is a flagrant violation of international law."
"Iran is complicit due to material support and encouragement of the Houthi forces who conducted this seizure, he said, affirming that this is "absolutely unacceptable."
"So in light of the recent targeting of civilians by the Houthis, and now all the piracy of a ship in international waters, we have begun a review of potential terrorist designations.
"And we'll be considering other options together with our allies and partners as well," Kirby said.
"I just want to end by saying that the Houthi must release that ship immediately as well as the crew and unconditionally," he added.
On Sunday, November 19, the Houthi militias released a video showing their fighters using a helicopter to storm the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the international waters in the southern part of the Red Sea.
They claimed the seizure of the ship came in retaliation for Israel's war against the Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
The Bahamian-flagged RoRo vessel, leased out to a Japanese company, is owned by a British company with links to Israeli business tycoon.
Biden Administration reversed the decision of former president Donald Trump in January 2021 to label the Houthis a foreign terrorist organization.
They justified the move on the fact that the terrorist designation of Houthis hampered the efforts to deliver international humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people. (end)
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