Twitter suspends Houthi-run account of Al Masirah TV

Al Masirah on its Telegram channel on Wednesday night said: “Twitter took steps to suspend the accounts of al-Masirah without giving reasons.”
Thursday 08/10/2020
A frame taken from video posted by Houthi-run al-Masirah television on its social media website. REUTERS
A frame taken from video posted by Houthi-run al-Masirah television on its social media website. (REUTERS)

DUBAI –The Twitter account of Al Masirah TV, the main television news outlet run by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement, was suspended on Wednesday.

Al Masirah on its Telegram channel on Wednesday night said: “Twitter took steps to suspend the accounts of al-Masirah without giving reasons.”

Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment, but the @MasirahTV Twitter page now says “Account suspended” for violating the rules of the social media platform, with no posts visible.

Twitter pages associated with a selection of leading Houthi figures, whose statements get published by Masirah, are still functional.

The Twitter account of Al Masirah TV (Twitter)
The Twitter account of Al Masirah TV (Twitter)

Houthi militias, backed by Iran, ousted the internationally-recognised government of Yemen from power in the capital Sana’a in late 2014. A Saudi-led coalition then intervened in March 2015.

The conflict has created what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

On Thursday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths condemned recent clashes in Yemen’s strategic port city of Hodeidah that have left dozens killed and wounded, urging the country’s warring parties to immediately stop the fighting.

Since Saturday, clashes have flared up between Yemen’s Houthi rebels and government forces south of the port in Hodeidah, which handles about 70% of Yemen’s commercial and humanitarian imports.

Al Masirah TV channel is founded and owned by the Ansarullah movement (Houthis). (almasirah.net)
Al Masirah TV channel is founded and owned by the Ansarullah movement (Houthis). (almasirah.net)

Yemeni officials said Wednesday the death toll had reached 52 and that around 70 people were wounded, including two dozen civilians.

“This military escalation not only constitutes a violation of the Hodeida ceasefire agreement but it runs against the spirit of the ongoing UN-facilitated negotiations that aim to achieve a nationwide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures and the resumption of the political process,” Griffiths said in a statement.

He added he is following with “deep concern” reports of civilian casualties, including of women and children.

¨I have been engaging with all sides. I call on them to immediately stop the fighting, respect the commitments they made under the Stockholm agreement,” he said.

Students shout slogans during a ceremony at the end of summer courses held by the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen September 19, 2020. (Reuters)
Students shout slogans during a ceremony at the end of summer courses held by the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen September 19, 2020. (Reuters)

In 2018, heavy fighting erupted in Hodeidah after government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition moved in to wrest control of the strategic city from the Houthis.