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Houthi media machine follows Iran's example

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden and Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo

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Yemeni children help to carry coffins of schoolchildren during a funeral in Sanaa on April 10th. The Houthis held the mass funeral for children killed in an April 7th explosion that they blamed on the Arab coalition. Human Rights Watch has since said the Iran-backed militia is to blame. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

Late last month, social media giants Facebook and Twitter shuttered hundreds of accounts linked to an Iran-based social media campaign that had been attempting to sway public opinion in favour of Iranian interests.

Earlier this year, Facebook said it took down hundreds of "inauthentic" accounts from Iran that were part of a vast manipulation campaign operating in more than 20 countries, AFP reported.

The media machine of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) "follows the same modus operandi of lying and falsifying the facts" as Iran's media machine, said Fadel al-Hindi, a supervisor at King Abdulaziz University's Centre for Human and Social Research.

The way an April incident in Sanaa's Saawan district was covered in pro-Houthi media "is the clearest evidence" of this deception, he told Al-Mashareq.

Pro-Houthi media claimed a US or Arab coalition airstrike had killed 15 children in the district. But a Human Rights Watch investigation into the incident, published May 9th, confirmed the blast was not caused by an airstrike.

"A Houthi-controlled warehouse that stored volatile material near homes and schools caught fire and detonated in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, on April 7th, 2019, causing the deaths of at least 15 children," HRW said.

Spreading 'inflammatory rhetoric'

Another example of the Houthis' attempts to distort the news is their accusation of the Arab coalition in late 2018 of blocking the departure of a plane carrying a Houthi delegation to take part in peace talks in Geneva, al-Hindi said.

The Houthis aimed to "suggest that the coalition is the side that is refusing peace, which was later revealed to be false", he said.

The Houthis also are "broadcasting inflammatory rhetoric and fake news through a network of online sites and satellite channels", al-Hindi said.

These include the popular al-Masirah channel, in addition to al-Sahat, al-Yemen al-Yawm, al-Hawiya and al-Lahtha, he said.

According to political analyst Waddah al-Jalil, "the Houthis see in the experience of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a suitable model for dealing with their surrounding environment".

Pointing to the Saawan incident and others like it, he told Al-Mashareq the Iran-backed militia "commits the crimes and then pins these crimes on its foes".

"The Houthis are accustomed to not facing culpability or blame for the crimes they commit against Yemenis, and if they are held culpable they could not care less," he said.

"They behave like a gang that does not comply with international norms and laws and does not care about the consequences of its crimes," he added.

'False news and media fabrications'

Yemeni journalist Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq the Houthis have established a pattern of "broadcasting false news and media fabrications, through which they pin the blame for their crimes on other parties".

These falsehoods are not questioned or disputed by the Houthis' supporters, he said, and provide them the ammunition with which "to defend them to other parties, and so the rumour circulates quickly".

"The militia also uses this course of action to talk about its fake victories as part of its mobilisation of its supporters and the community through the official and unofficial media and on social media," Ahmed said.

According to Ahmed, the Houthis "are fighting the truth, as evidenced by their shutdown of all media platforms, newspapers and websites in the [areas under their control] except those that work for them".

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Al Salul are the donkeys of Arabs; they don’t have a bit of gallantry or morals. They killed women and children.

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God’s peace be upon you! To cut it short, whoever rules the north blackmails traders. However, they shouldn’t get any amounts out of their pockets. A punch of gangs is ruling it, and they have stolen people’s money. I’ve heard from a person who isn’t related to me that the income from property and payroll taxes only in Sana'a alone in 2017, when the economy was very slow, was worth 420 billion Yemeni rials. This is not to mention income from zakat, charges, municipal and customs duties. This was from Sana'a alone.

These trillions of rials go to influential people who use religion as a pretext. They are hated by the people whom they force to go to battlefields by impoverishing them. This has actually happened. Second, the legitimate government’s policies are similar to those of northern rulers; they employ thieves and haters of the people with the overseeing in the seven-sided aggression on Yemen and planning by the West. This is in addition to the organisations that starve the people and loot assistance, and yet lie and say they distribute foods and medicines to the people.

The Coalition is killing the people, and bin Zayed was able to deceive the childish bin Salman and involve him in the Yemen war and in killing the people and destroying their homes. He was stupid, and thus lost friends and allies with his hegemony, injustice and naiveté.

Third, the people are ignorant and foolish; they worship those who have power and then feel they’re humiliated because they’re away from God, except for a very few who worship God and pray to Him to give victory to His religion against the human devils.

This is a war against Islam with Arab hands. Meanwhile, the West sells technology and misinformation to drown the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, in blood. UAE is adding in its militias to kill and slaughter the people. There are local gangs supported by the UAE to sow sedition among the people in order to easily rule the country and loot its wealth, along with Saudi Arabia. Last but not least, despicable interests continue to occupy Yemen and humiliate its people. And, of course, each one comments based on their affiliation and worship of their own devil and my mistakes

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In fact, the Coalition countries didn’t manage the battle well, giving them the chance to exploit this and the media weapon in a more shrewd way. This is the policy for managing wars. The coalition countries shouldn’t have exceeded the bank of its announced goals, as, in this way, they created rifts in society and gave rise to scenarios and possibilities that made the people lose confidence and expect things that wouldn’t serve them. Yes, the people know that Houthis’ ideology is racist and is rejected both internally and regionally; they’re a copy of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and are just another arm for Iran in the back yard of Saudi Arabia, which is the religious centre of Muslims and the economic centre of the Arab world. It’s even the pillar of Arabs. Iran has planted them [i.e. Houthis] and provided them with weapons to threaten the Kingdom and regional security. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia didn’t correctly read what has been planned; it responded to what malicious people both inside and outside plotted so it may fall in a trap plotted by the West and America for the Gulf region and the Arab nation’s economy. This involved the use of the same approach adopted by colonial powers in the past, by provoking seditions and commotions in societies and countries. Saudi Arabia isn’t weak; it can deal with plots, but it can do this by understanding the past, realising the present and suspecting the intentions of those who claim to be caring for it and defending it. Interests turn friends into foes.

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Houthis are the cohorts of Iran. Although Iran has a divine religion, they fight for the Magi Iranian sect.

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May God deliver Yemen out of war and commotions!

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Truth will undoubtedly be victorious and God will invalidate the malice of the malicious.

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This isn't like the other martyrs who died. May God have mercy on him and be with them!

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Those who gave Houthis the power are the coalition countries with their ignorance of the management of wars, and with the poverty, chaos and difficulties they created in the South with the hunger, poverty and bad public services. Will anyone fight in the north against them? Impossible. Those who fight with them now are the Salafists, thugs, and a few fanatics. This conflict will continue until the Saudi money to thugs and the corrupt drains out.

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It seems to us that you as journalists and writers of this article that you have no moral or professional honour, and that you’re prepared to sell your own honour for money. As to this reality, what you mentioned in your own article applies to it, to the effect that it follows the dirty Saudi policy of falsification of truths, lies and deception.

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May God have mercy of the pious on them!

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To hell and the worst fate! They'll be placed with the Magis at the same spot.

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You as militias are killing children and women, and are trying to escape. May God damn you!

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Liar!

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A liar. You're agents and mercenaries who have agreed to sell your dignity and honour.

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Welcome!

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Unfortunately

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And I love real friendship.

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I love getting to know people and friendships.

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Confirmed!

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Please publish breaking news!

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Houthis are "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) elements; they blow up, dispel those who have a different opinion and accuse them of apostasy. Their slogan is Iranian and carries the colours of Iran’s flag.

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They don’t look at the people, but look for revenge, especially now. Northern and southern rulers follow foreign orders. Whoever doesn’t believe the news shall be accused of apostasy and hypocrisy. Who are those idiots and ignorant people deceiving? Whoever follows a party or a ruler shall be a servant for them. Please excuse me for my harsh words, but this is the truth. They have slaughtered us and destroyed people’s livelihoods so they may follow them and desert their homes for battlefields where they kill each other. They convinced their followers that they are enemies although they share the same religion and the same country. God suffices me and He is the best disposer of affairs!

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Hope everyone will travel and realise their dreams.

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May God give victory to Yemen!

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May God damn the liars!

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Yes.

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Nothing new in any northern province since five years.

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There is no power or might safe in God Almighty!

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Dream

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God is the best protector!

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This is the nature of Iran and its cohorts: to lie, deceive and claim unreal victories in their lying media.

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You should be damned! These are fake victories. Why haven't we entered San'a or al-Hodeidah?

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All know that Houthis are engaged in a policy of starvation and impoverishment against the people, which leads to the humiliation of society and ease of controlling it because of this case (starvation and impoverishment). However, what helped them do that was the economic policy of the legitimate government which gave Houthis the pretext about moving the bank and other issues. In addition to the inability of society to do anything against what’s happening, the [Arab] coalition and international community are still adopting a negative stance; they haven’t taken strict measures, as if everyone wants to prolong the conflict until all components of state are undermined. This has also helped tear the social fabric both regionally and tribally, leading to an increase of hotspots of conflict and aggravation of humanitarian situation.

Moreover, the fact that there are many players has helped with this tear, in view of the parties whose leaders turned into people looking for their own personal interests only at the expense of the interests of nation and people. They’re all distant from each other, and have different, selfish visions that hate others and don’t accept them as if they aren’t Yemenis.

This ideological diaspora has made them live without any sense of belonging, and as a result, poor citizens now find themselves being tussled among hands that tamper with their security and livelihoods while they’re powerless before these elements of destruction rather than construction. They’re finding themselves besieged both internally and externally without any to come to their aid.

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The hidden plot inside Yemen has been revealed. However, the people’s negligence won’t continue. God will give victory to the people against all traitors, whether they’re from the north or south. By God’s grace, Yemen will return as it was before.

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No.

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I pray to God to guide Yemen to what is good and to deliver it from this calamity and bring back security and stability!

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Yes, God willing, pagans will fight against the Arab nation and disfigure our religion and the sunnah of our Prophet (PBUH). Today, Houthis in Yemen are celebrating al-Ghadeer Day and are hitting themselves on that day, which is today.

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No.

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I'd love to take part provided there is credibility.

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Yes.

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You're the most despicable person on the face of earth!

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An amazing website.

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If you're doing something that God doesn't like ...

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God willing, God will make the truth prevail!

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God willing, truth will triumph and falsehood will be defeated!

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What’s new about this? Rafida in general believe in lying and lie in the name of religion. They have looted state coffers, and claimed that Abdrabbuh has transferred the bank to Aden. When we said the bank was transferred just in name, but employees and money are in Sana'a, they said there was no money at the bank and that it was sent to Aden. We said your friends who couldn’t afford a packet of yoghurt are now filled with money to buy houses, land and cars and wives, they said God has bestowed them with that and that we shouldn’t envy them.

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These are all lies.

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Done!

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Ansarallah are only publishing true news.

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Ansarallah are only publishing true news that is supported by documents and evidence.

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These are lies. Ansarallah in general, and Houthis in particular, are reliable and frank; they know how to talk before they act. As to the silly states that are conspiring against Yemen, they are in a position like that of women in sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, they’re even meaner, especially the Gulf people.

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Yes.

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Ansarallah are defending a homeland. May God give them victory and strengthen them!

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If the Coalition is claiming that Houthis are making up fake news, let them come down to the battlefields and look with their own eyes what the army and Committee men are doing. They’re writing the most beautiful heroic epics, and thank God that Jizan, Asir and Najran are now under the hands of the army and committee.

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Hehehehehehehe! O, how much you lie, you Magis! By God, you’re besieged at your caves, o, dogs of fire!

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O, Magi, let the Wahhabi speak!

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These are lies and defamation against Nasrallah. This is a Quranic march for the world.

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Peace be upon those who have followed guidance! They said it was a Quranic march, but truth has appeared; it’s a sexual march and a sexual culture.

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This is a Quranic march both in deeds and words. Burn your hatred, o, hypocrites!

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Truth will prevail against everything. Ansarallah are Ansarallah. Period.

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What’s proving your words? Words don’t prove or deny. The Islamic Shariah doesn’t rule based on sayings, but based on witness and solid evidence. Haven’t you heard what God Almighty said, “O you who believe! If a troublemaker brings you any news, investigate,” and “Surely, those who say: “Our Lord is God,” and then go straight …” to the rest of verse. This is how God ordered us not to base our judgments on mere sayings. As to the Coalition, this is the product of deep Saudi hatred of Yemen. This hatred dates back to the September 26th, the 70-day siege and the problems on the battlefield. In this way, the episode of enmity against Yemen continues. They have been waiting for a chance, not to protect Yemen, but to destroy it and its civilization and resources until the ousted, dishonest, son of Indian maid came and gave them this chance on a gold platter.

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May God give victory to al-Mansur Bellah and Ben Salman!

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May God damn Ben Salman!

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I don't think that Houthis are lying; it's the Coalition that's lying.

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Yes.

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They’re all liars. Houthis lied and entered because of the funds they're getting and occupied the country. Later, they appeared to be Rafida, cursing the Prophet’s Companions and the Gulf countries. May God damn them! They entered [Yemen] to kick the Houthis out, but it turned out to be an occupation. The UAE kills and Saudi Arabia buries the victim and then walk in their funeral.

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Alright.

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Why are you angry of truth, o, pigs of America and Israel?

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Sunnis, Shias and parties are a crime against religion and society. We’ll have happiness only through unity.

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Liars, falsifiers and makers of fake news will be exposed by God. They’ll, with God’s grace and planning, at some point be bitten by their own work.

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It's the coalition which is killing Yemenis with the support of America and Israel.

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By God, you're lying, Magis!

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This is the truth.

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You Wahhabis follow what America wish because you're like women in matrimonial homes.

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The media must be sincere and constructive. What we have seen from your news are fabrications, fake news and prejudice, as if you’re working with another country other than Yemen. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen have been killed at the hands of occupiers and invaders, and instead of siding with your homeland and its people, who are the majority, you side with a few who have allied with enemies for a bunch of filthy money. The free media, although it has to report what others say, it has to be patriotic and takes sides with its homeland as a principle like all other media professionals in other countries. Have you seen the media operating against its own country in the West or in the East like you do now?!! You won’t find anyone like you in taking sides with countries that have killed, destroyed and torn your country apart. What should we call you?! Treacherous agents, mercenaries, devoid of humanity and links to religion, blood and language?! You’re just the arms of invaders. If you think you’ve succeeded, you’ll be exposed. God willing, you’ll receive the relevant reward for what you’ve done. Yemen will remain free and strong, and neither you nor your financiers will be able to bend it. Long live Yemen! Death to traitors who are the arms of invaders!

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Well said! May God preserve you!

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We pray to God Almighty to enable the good among his worshipers, whoever they are, to rule this country.

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