On January 17, 2023, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced the designation of Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists in response to Houthi militants’ attacks against US military forces and international maritime vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. According to Sullivan, the US will immediately reevaluate the designation if the attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden cease. The designation was issued under Executive Order 13224, as amended, and will be effective on February 16, 2024.
In parallel with the new designation, the US issued five general licenses under the Global Terrorism Sanction Regulation, 31 CFR part 594, in order to facilitate humanitarian aid to Yemen. The general licenses will also take effect on February 16, 2024. OFAC issued General License 22 to support the shipment of certain agricultural and medicinal items; General License 23 to enable certain telecom and internet-based communications; General License 24 to authorize the transfer of noncommercial, personal remittances; General License 25 to enable transactions involving certain refined petroleum products in Yemen, and General License 26 to facilitate transactions involving port and airport operations.
OFAC also issued FAQ 1158 to provide an overview of the new Ansarallah designation and the authorizations provided by the general licenses.