By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council is due to vote Monday on a proposal by the United Arab Emirates to impose an arms embargo on Yemen’s Houthis after the group claimed several drone and missile assaults on the country this year.
The measure would expand a targeted U.N. arms embargo on several Houthi leaders to the whole group. The measure needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, the United States, Britain, France or China.
A Saudi-led coalition, including the UAE, intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Iran-aligned Houthis ousted the internationally recognized government from Sanaa. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.
The coalition, the United States and U.N. sanctions monitors have accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with arms, which both Tehran and the group deny.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people and caused a humanitarian crisis, pushing Yemen to the brink of famine.
A senior Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the proposed arms embargo on the Houthi group does not include an asset freeze so there would be “no impact on humanitarian aid or commercial shipping, which was a concern” among some council members.
A year ago President Joe Biden’s administration revoked a U.S. designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization over concerns that it would worsen Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. Former President Donald Trump’s administration had blacklisted the Houthis one day before Biden took office in January 2021.
The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and some American lawmakers are pressing the White House to return the Houthi movement to the U.S. list of foreign terrorist groups over the recent Houthi attacks on the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Leslie Adler)