Houthis in Yemen
Houthis in Yemen Reuters

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that his administration is considering re-designating Yemen's Houthi movement as an international terrorist organization following drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, Reuters reported.

Asked at a news conference if he supported returning the Iran-aligned Houthis to the US list of foreign terrorist organizations, from which they were removed nearly a year ago, Biden replied, "The answer is, it's under consideration."

At the same time, he conceded that "it's going to be very difficult" to end the conflict pitting the Houthis against Yemen's internationally recognized government and a Saudi-led military coalition to which the UAE belongs.

The UAE welcomed Biden’s comment, the Emirati Embassy said in a tweet.

The “case is clear – launching ballistic and cruise missiles against civilian targets, sustaining aggression, diverting aid to Yemeni people,” it wrote.

Earlier this week, Houthi rebels claimed an attack on three oil tankers near Abu Dhabi National Oil Company storage tanks in the Mussafah district near Abu Dhabi.

Following the attack, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed asked US Secretary of State Tony Blinken to re-designate the Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization.

Blinken last year announced the removal of the Houthi rebels from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations, reversing a decision that was made by the Trump administration days before the end of his term.

It has long been believed that Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Iran denies it is backing the Houthis and has also denied Saudi Arabian accusations that Tehran provided the Houthi rebels in Yemen with ballistic capabilities.