(GPA) Sana’a – Media company Al Jazeera’s Sana’a location was raided by Houthi fighters yesterday. Fighters took what was left of equipment and furniture.
Al Jazeera is largely considered a mouth-piece for pro-western and anti-Shia attitudes in the Gulf region and greater Middle East. With over 70 bureaux around the world, the media conglomerate is the second largest in the world– second only to the BBC. Al Jazeera’s main headquarters is in Doha, Qatar and the company’s English subsidiary is headquartered in New York city. The company also receives funding from the Qatari Royal family.
About ten fighters stormed the Sana’a complex– which was closed– to reportedly take equipment and furniture. “Eyewitnesses said that two cars carrying more than 10 fighters raided the office and began looting what has been left of furniture, desks and TV screens,” said Saeed Thabit, head of Al Jazeera’s office in Yemen.
The media company has implied that the Houthi fighters were seeking retaliation for a documentary that had just aired hours before hand which Al Jazeera says depicts how the Houthis get their weapons. This is the second time Al-Jazeera has been targeted by Houthi fighters. In March of 2015, fighters raided the same location; destroying security cameras and ransacking the building.
While claiming they report objectively, it is clear to most readers and journalists alike that Al Jazeera boasts a pro-Sunni and pro-intervention narrative– conveniently making them an Arabic mouth-piece for the West. Al Jazeera has consistently maintained a strong anti-Assad narrative throughout the conflict in Syria– even prompting one journalist to quit. Beirut correspondent Ali Hashem resigned back in 2012 over “biased and unprofessional” coverage when the station refused to air his photos of armed protesters clashing with the Syrian Army.
In 2014, three Al Jazeera journalists were arrested in Egypt and held for over a year. Egyptian authorities claimed the journalists had ties to terrorist organizations due to Al Jazeera’s coverage which frequently favors the Muslim Brotherhood. “Al Jazeera has always been the arm moving the extremist operations and the coup operations — not in the pursuit of democracy as you Westerners want but in the pursuit of regional dominance for a small state,” Egyptian attorney Mohamed Hamouda said.
Qatar is a major player in the Saudi-led coalition which has devastated Yemen and resulted in thousands of civilian casualties. The United States has recently increased military support to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Morocco– all members of the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen and the Houthis.