Twitter suspends Houthi military spokesman's account

Yahya Saree has issues threats to the UAE and Saudi Arabia on the social media platform

Yahya Saree, military spokesman for Yemen's Houthi rebels. AFP

Twitter has suspended an account that belongs to Yemen's Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree for breaching its rules.

The account, with more than 340,000 followers, was used to claim responsibility for attacks by the Iran-backed rebels on the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as threatening further attacks.

Twitter did not specify why it suspended the account four years after it was created. The company does not usually comment on individual cases.

Jaber Al Lamki, a senior communications official at the UAE Ministry of Defence, praised Twitter for its "socially responsible" move.

"I am happy to see major social media companies being socially responsible to take down mouthpieces of hate and terror from their platforms," he said on Twitter.

An English-language account in Saree's name, which has 17,000 followers, remains active.

Several new Arabic accounts claiming to belong to him have emerged on Twitter.

The non-profit Counter Extremism Project, which has been documenting the Houthi spokesman's Twitter activity since he joined the platform in 2018, said he "threatened new attacks on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and any other country participating in the Arab coalition fighting the Houthis".

One of the threats followed Houthi attacks on the UAE, when the group used drones and ballistic missiles. Energy, power and water infrastructure have been the targets of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia.

On March 20, the Saudi Press Agency reported that a Houthi attack on a water treatment centre at Al Shaqeeq "did not affect the production and supply of desalinated water to the beneficiary areas".

Twitter says it is prohibits the use of the platform for "glorifying" acts of violence, including "attacks carried out by terrorist organisations or violent extremist groups (as defined by our terrorism and violent extremism policy".

Updated: April 10, 2022, 3:41 PM
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