Yemen government welcomes US expected designation of Houthis as a terrorist group

Yemen's internationally recognised government welcomed on Monday Washington's decision to designate the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and their leaders as global terrorists effective from January 19.

The move came just 10 days before the administration of US President Donald Trump leaves office.

"The designations are intended to hold Ansar Allah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and commercial shipping," Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said, using the Houthis' official name.

The rebels have led a brutal campaign that has "killed many people, continues to destabilise the region and denies Yemenis a peaceful solution to the conflict in their country," he said.

Mr Pompeo said his department will notify the US Congress of its intention to designate the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, and three of its leaders, including Abdulmalik Al Houthi, as global terrorists.