BY Committee to Protect Journalists

Omar Ezzi Mohammad

Radio engineer Omar Ezzi Mohammad was killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that hit the Ansar Allah-controlled Al-Maraweah Radio Broadcasting Center, in al-Maraweah district in Hodeida Governorate. The attack killed two of the station’s security guards--Ali Aish Mohammad Youssef and Jamaie Abdullah Musib--as well as a farmer who was in the vicinity of the building at the time of the attack, according to the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate and Yemeni TV station Belqees.

According to Reuters and the Qatari outlet Al-Arabi al-Jadeed, a coalition airstrike targeted the radio station, with Al-Arabi al-Jadeed citing the Ansar Allah movement, commonly known as the Houthis, and Reuters quoting residents and medical sources. Al-Arabi al-Jadeed reported that the radio station was controlled by the Houthis and that the radio station broadcast locally in the al-Maraweah district.

The airstrike was part of the Saudi-led coalition’s targeting of Houthi forces in and around the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, which as of October 2018 was under Houthi control and a vital lifeline for the group, which controls most of Yemen's north and west as well as the capital Sanaa.

At least six journalists had previously been killed in coalition airstrikes since Saudi-led forces started a military campaign in support of Yemen's internationally recognized government in March 2015. A military spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition said during a press conference on March 29, 2015 that Houthi-affiliated media outlets were considered legitimate military targets.