UN Security Council Approves Arms Embargo on Yemen’s Houthis

Houthis: Embargo has no value

The UN Security Council voted Monday in favor of an arms embargo against Yemen’s Houthi movement. The proposal was pushed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The vote saw 11 nations in favor, and four abstaining, including Ireland, Norway, Mexico, and Brazil. The UAE claimed the vote will stop Houthi “escalation.”

The vote was called because in recent weeks, airstrikes against Houthis have led to missile and drone retaliation against the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Both nations are keen to blame Iran for the arms, though the Houthis deny this and say the embargo has “no value.”

Indeed, the Houthis said that the only way an embargo would have any impact in Yemen would be if it included Western nations, who have been selling the Saudis a seemingly endless supply of bombs and missiles.

What the practical impact will be is unclear, as the UAE argue that with no asset seizures the resolution should not hinder aid delivery to Yemen. At the same time, the Saudis have been hindering aid on the pretext of searching ships for arms as it was, and now will be able to claim a UN Security Council imprimatur in doing so.

Either way, the embargo probably doesn’t cut the Houthis off the way it intended, as the group wasn’t exactly public with its arms purchases. The UN vote probably seemed like a safe way to placate the UAE, without the more damaging moves of terrorist designation that they had been seeking.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.