Western media's overt bias in rebels' favor

Western media's overt bias in rebels' favor

 

By Abdullah S. Ahmed (Opinion)

 

Almost all the leading US and European media covering the Yemeni war are blatantly biased in favor of the rebel alliance of former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh's forces and his ally Houthi extremist rebels. 

A random browse of Yemen news on google will make you come up with a satisfaction that these outlets are infiltrated with Iranian and, essentially pro-Houthi, lobbyists.

The war is looked at only from the lens of "the coalition bombing" and casualties are presented as only the result of airstrikes.  As though the rebels are getting along fine with the people and the Arab intervention and air strikes are the only disturbance to peace.

Civilian casualties from erring Arab airstrikes are covered as they happen. No problem there. But there is always an exaggeration in this respect. First, strikes on service facilities are judged as deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure and people.

Many of the struck public and private properties were later proved by the Coalition to had been militarized or used as weapon depots by the militias.

The latest alleged strike of market in Saada on Tuesday is one such case where the media jumped the gun and portrayed it as a strike on civilians.

Three days after the attack, the Coalition's verifications showed that the market was used as a military base and manning it were missile experts including Iranians.

These outlets tend to ignore the fact that the Houthi rebels embed themselves in urban areas and among civilians for disguise, human shielding and – in case hit with air strikes -  for propaganda. 

More surprising is that some outlets take the toll of casualties from the rebels who, I bet, celebrate the fall of civilian victims more than they would celebrate gaining territory.

They feed into the stories on the strikes a lot of misleading information and exaggerated figures.

The Houthis reports or even pictures on air strike victims are not trustable to depend on.

 It is known that most of the Houthi fighters are children. And it is a common practice for Houthis make the most propaganda of the ones who get fallen; they are marketed as "child victims of the Arab Coalition."

Children are also victims to the Houthis in another form. The radical rebels are the only warring party that shell villages and city neighborhoods deliberately and indiscriminately in Taiz and in Beidha and the majority of the causalities of those attacks happen to be children. 

They shell Taiz neighborhoods continually and at short intervals. Every few days there are five to six children and adult civilians killed by their shelling.

The Arab air strike that is said to have killed civilians makes a ripple effect in the media. A lot of exaggerated information are also woven around the facts.

Every time a child is shown killed or with face burns, allegedly as a result of an airstrike, the child is made as a symbol of Arab Coalition and Yemeni government "brutality".  Let's say that is fine. Humanity and conscience are still alive.  

But when eight children are killed in Taiz by a Houthi Katyusha rocket. You do not see one US or European newspaper making mention of that.

The local media has been consecutively reporting appalling militia atrocities in Taiz for years. Stories of shelling, killing, sniping, and extrajudicial executions and photos of dismembered and charred bodies of girls and boys mean nothing to them and, thus, do not echo at all in these hypocrite newspapers and websites.

Taiz is really the litmus paper which proved that the humanity and impartiality they claim are hypocrite and double-standardized. 

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