US designation of the Houthis irresponsible and risks tipping Yemen into famine, 12 January 2021
In an interview with CNN and with Euronews Chris Doyle described the US decision on the 10 January as "irresponsible" and risks tipping Yemen into famine.
Doyle told CNN: "The designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization will not help this conflict be resolved in any sense, and actually risks prolonging it. There are risks that the Houthi hardliners will feel empowered to turn towards Iran more. They will be unwilling to engage in diplomatic processes or backchannels to Saudi Arabia." Doyle added. "The idea that you can bully the Houthis into softening their stance is a fantasy."
On the humanitarian front, Doyle argued that: 'By picking one side in a conflict, you can really harm the civilian populations and it's very irresponsible." The designation would "make it hard for aid organizations to have staff on the ground, as the Houthis can control the two main entry points to Yemen". On Euronews, Doyle said that this could tip Yemen into famine pointing out that the Houthis control terriotry that contains 70-80% of Yemen's population. The risk for banks, insurance and shipping would be too high for most companies to take the risk. The lack of detail on the humanitarian exemptions created "a great deal of uncertainty."