Thomas Wictor

The BBC, a propaganda arm of Iran

The BBC, a propaganda arm of Iran

A few days ago, a Yemeni wrote to me and asked for help in debunking the lies that Ansar Allah—the Houthis—are telling in Yemen as part of their effort to discredit both non-Shi’ite Yemenis and the Saudi-led Coalition that has intervened in order to restore the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Now I’m being inundated with transparent propaganda, sent to me by angry Yemenis who support the Houthis, proxies of Iran. Tonight the BBC aired part one of a show called Yemen’s Forgotten War. The trailer is 100 percent fact free.

From the very beginning, we see staged footage enhanced with computer-graphic imagery (CGI). This is the Iranian model of propaganda: Someone just happens to be filming children at play. Why? Well, don’t we all set up cameras on tripods and film children in a playground? I do it constantly. So the innocent kids are swinging and laughing.


Then suddenly, BOOM! Evil death-bombs explode, causing panicked doves to fly past (red arrows).


This is the giveaway that the video is fake. Every moronic Iranian-based propaganda film of air strikes has birds flying past. They’re animated. These CGI birds are a convention that the propagandists can’t seem to avoid. I thought the supporters of Hamas were unreachable maniacs, but the fans of Houthis are even worse. They’re hysterical, ranting, screeching children, so the propagandists put the barest effort into their work. All they have to do is simply say something, and the Houthi groupies repeat it like Myna birds. All day today, Houthi fans have been sending me utterly meaningless photos and videos.

Look at his image and tell me how the person died, where he or she died, when he or she died, and who was responsible.


That’s what Houthi groupies are doing. They send me images that have no provenance and say, “See? This proves that the Saudis are committing war crimes!”

No. Photos and videos with no context prove nothing. One particularly irrational person told me that the video below shows more 150 Yemenis killed in an air strike.

GRAPHIC IMAGES AFTER 1:29. No need to watch beyond that point.

At 0:13, there’s an explosion right next to the cameraman.


Pebbles fly up off the ground from the concussion, but the cameraman is uninjured. How is that possible?

Then at 0:35, another explosion right next to the man.


Those are not bombs. They’re muzzle blasts from antiaircraft artillery (AAA).


They can’t be anything else. If they were explosive aerial munitions dropped by an aircraft, the cameraman and everyone around him would be dead. Like the Iranian mullahs and all their proxies, the Houthis have no regard for human life, so they put their antiaircraft cannons in civilian areas.

From 0:49 to 0:53 in the Yemen video, you can hear a jet engine. Then at 1:01 and 1:02, the Houthi antiaircraft cannon fires again. At 1:27 we hear a jet engine, but then the video is edited, and we see dead bodies. There’s no evidence that they were killed by aerial munitions.

Now, I DIDN’T MAKE THIS UP. Go whine to Amnesty International.

During a week-long trip to the Yemeni capital, the organization spoke to medical staff at nine hospitals and residents who said that anti-aircraft weapons were the leading cause of casualties in the capital…

A doctor at al-Thawra hospital, one of the largest public hospitals in Sana’a, told Amnesty International that the vast majority - around 90% - of war wounded patients admitted to the hospital had been injured by anti-aircraft fire.

The Huthi armed group’s apparent use of anti-aircraft weaponry which detonates on impact either with an aircraft or when it has landed, known as contact fuzing, or misuse of air-burst munitions, has killed and maimed civilians, and amounts to a failure to take adequate precautions to protect the civilian population, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.

Air-burst anti-aircraft weaponry is designed to detonate in the air, potentially reducing civilian casualties. Video of Huthi anti-aircraft fire taken in Sana’a on 20 May clearly shows that at least in some instances they are using air-burst munitions.

Houthi antiaircraft artillery.


Here’s what Houthi groupies need to understand: Amnesty International and Yemeni doctors have accused the Houthis of being the main cause of civilian casualties in Sana’a—and we have evidence of it in the form of videos and photos. When you tell me that the Saudis killed 120 civilians in one bombing, but you provide me with no evidence, then I’m not going to believe you. Go ahead and throw a tantrum. I’m not obliged to listen to it.

Back to the BBC trailer.

This damage was without question caused by a Houthi antiaircraft round.


See the giant hole in the roof? That means the round exploded on contact. This is the biggest Coalition aerial munition, the 2000-lb (946-kg) MK-84.


When dropped on a building, the bomb is ALWAYS fitted with a timed fuse—not a contact fuse—so that the munition can punch its way down to the middle or bottom of the structure before exploding. This is the size of the hole that the biggest Coalition aerial munition makes in the roof of a building.


The hole in the roof of the apartment in the BBC trailer is far too big to have been made by the largest Coalition bomb.

Here’s the street where the debris from the damaged apartment fell.


If a Coalition bomb had gone through the building and hit the street, this is what it would look like.


Explosive aerial munitions make enormous craters in the ground.

The Houthi antiaircraft cannon that’s causing all the casualties has to be the 57mm S-60, a Soviet-era gun.


These things are astonishingly destructive.

Look at the severe structural damage that this cannon has inflicted on the steel-reinforced concrete building.


Entire floors have collapsed. The holes are much larger than the one in the BBC footage.

The fact that the Houthis are using contact fuses—meaning that the round has to hit the aircraft in order to explode—shows a level of idiocy that I find almost impossible to grasp. This is how the Coalition pilots attack, except they do it at night.

The jets are protected by electronic countermeasures (ECM). It’s likely that electronic warfare aircraft accompany the fighters, engaging in tactical jamming or projecting decoys all over the sky. At any rate, the Houthi air defenses are blind, yet the firing never stops. We’ve never had a war in which 90 percent of the civilian casualties were caused by air defenses.

Finally, the BBC show Yemen’s Forgotten War deliberately gave the impression that the Coalition is terror-bombing civilians, but the reality is that the attacks are on military targets. These air strikes all targeted the missile base of Faj Attan.




This is the base.


It has blast walls (red arrows).


That means missiles are filled with fuel and fitted with warheads. The base is where they make the missiles ready to use.

Supporters of the Houthis are much more deranged than Hamas fans.


Though they tell me that the Coalition is slaughtering Yemenis by the thousands, they can’t produce any evidence. Someone referred me to a video that purported to show the victims of a marketplace bombing, but all the corpses were military-aged males, and they were decomposing. It was obviously a Houthi military column that had been bombed. You can watch the video here if you want. I wouldn’t recommend it.

There are so few civilian casualties that Houthi supporters have been reduced to recycling images from other conflicts.


The photo in the upper right is from the Iraq war.


Today Muslims all over the world laughed at the victims of 9/11. Social media is rotten with the snickering.


And today a Houthi groupie also made the inevitable accusation that the Saudis are “committing genocide.” Well, in that case I say that my neighbors are committing genocide by doing this to me every weekend.

Everything is racist, and everything is genocidal. I agree with you.

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