US Blames Houthis for Yemen’s Woes

State Dept falsely claims Houthis are refusing ceasefire

Back from a visit to the Gulf area, State Department special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking returned to the US to push the narrative that the Shi’ite Houthi movement is mostly to blame for the ongoing problems in Yemen.

Yemen’s problems include large civilian casualties from the Saudi-led war and the borderline famine conditions as Saudi-enforced naval blockade has kept food imports far below pre-war levels. That lack of food and medicine, also because of the blockade, is an ongoing crisis.

It’s hard not to notice that the common denominator in all of these major humanitarian problems for Yemen is Saudi Arabia. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated earlier this week that the US remains committed to Saudi Arabia when it comes to regional security, and that clearly is the intent as Lenderking pointed the finger at the Houthis.

This spin isn’t shocking, as the US has been participating in the war, on the Saudis’ side, off and on for years.  It is quite a shift for the Biden Administration though, who had been trying to distance themselves from the war and was encouraging a peace deal.

Lenderking sought further to accuse the Houthis of refusing a ceasefire, which is simply untrue. The Houthis have consistently participated in peace talks with the Saudis and the Saudi-backed government, and the main reason the past peace talks failed was that the Saudis’ allies refused any deal involving power-sharing or a fresh election, wanting unconditional continued rule.

That’s the context in which Lenderking is trying to blame the Houthis, and to make matters worse, the US has consistently backed the Saudis’ play throughout.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.