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X suspends Yemen Houthis’ account

February 19, 2024 at 12:00 pm

In this photo illustration, ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) logo is being displayed on a computer phone screen in front of a computer screen with the logo of X in Ankara, Turkiye on December 05, 2023. [Didem Mente – Anadolu Agency]

The social media platform X, formerly Twitter, yesterday suspended social media accounts affiliated with Yemen’s Houthi group, coinciding with the entry into force of the US decision to include the group on the list of terrorist organisations.

Thousands of the group’s account followers could no longer access their posts following the suspension, which Yemeni media outlets close to the Houthis described as “a violation of all human rights conventions.”

The decision came days after the Western-backed Yemeni government wrote to social media sites including X, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok demanding accounts affiliated with the group be banned on the grounds of classifying it as a terrorist organisation by Washington.

On 17 January, US officials said the administration of President Joe Biden had once again added the Yemeni Houthi group to the list of terrorist groups, in the latest attempt by Washington to stop attacks on Israel-linked ships in the Red Sea, Reuters reported at the time.

The officials added that the classification of the group as a “global terrorist” organisation aims to cut off funding and weapons it uses to attack or hijack ships.

Houthis: ‘We will not back down from supporting Gaza’

Responding to the US decision, the Houthi group said that the classification will not deter it from supporting Palestine, while the decision will “have no effect” on the ground.

“There is no effectiveness on the ground for Washington’s decision to classify us,” the group’s spokesman, Mohamed Abdel Salam, told Al Jazeera.

“The American classification will not deter us from supporting Palestine and the Palestinian people,” he added, stressing that the American decision “will only increase our adherence to our position in support of the Palestinians.”

In November, the Houthis started targeting Israeli owned and Israel-bound cargo ships, in solidarity with the Palestinians facing a genocidal war in Gaza. In January, as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was hearing a case against Israel, a US-led coalition launched air strikes on Houthi sites across Yemen.