February 23, 2022
Lebanon’s interior minister has ordered an investigation into the legality of two Houthi TV channels based in Beirut, it was reported on Tuesday.
Yemen’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak sent a letter to his Lebanese counterpart and the country’s interior minister, Bassam Mawlawi, saying Al-Masirah and al-Sahat television networks continued to carry out “hostile and inciting acts” from inside Lebanese territories.
The Yemeni diplomat said the channels did not have proper licenses to operate.
Lebanon’s ties with the Gulf have been severely hampered due to Hezbollah’s growing influence over Lebanon and its role in Iran-backed attacks on the Gulf, including from Yemen.
Mawlawi has also vowed to crack down on drug smuggling from Lebanon to Gulf countries.
As part of Lebanon’s efforts to restore ties with the Gulf, Mawlawi said he sent a letter to Lebanon’s General Security and the Internal Security Forces to gather the necessary information on the channels, their operators and where they are being broadcasted from.
Mawlawi also sent letters to his counterparts at the Information Ministry and the Telecoms Ministry asking about the legality of the two channels operating from within Lebanon.
Washington has long pressed Lebanon to shut down the Houthi channels airing out of Beirut but to no avail.
The Iran-backed Houthis have increased their attacks on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries over the last year.
A year after lifting the group and its leaders off the US terror blacklist, President Joe Biden says he is reconsidering designating the Houthis.