YouTube shuts down pro-Syrian government channels

Video streaming giant appeared to suspend the accounts of SANA, the Ministry of Defence, and the Syrian Presidency.

US sanctions forbid American firms from providing services to Syria [Screengrab/YouTube]

YouTube has suspended the accounts of at least three media outlets run by the Syrian government, weeks after a report claimed the channels were violating US sanctions and generating revenue from ads.

The video streaming giant appeared to suspend the accounts of Syria’s public international news organisation, SANA, the Ministry of Defence and the Syrian Presidency.

All three accounts appeared on Monday with a message, which read: “This account has been terminated due to a legal complaint,” or “This account has been terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.” 

The Damascus-based Sana TV’s channel also appeared to be taken down, with a message reading: “This page isn’t available. Sorry about that. Try searching for something else.”

The move comes just weeks after online news website TomoNews revealed the government-run accounts were generating advertising revenue in violation of US sanctions.

US sanctions prohibit American companies from providing services to Syria without obtaining a licence from the Treasury Department, according to the report.

Syria is in the middle of bloody civil war that has raged since 2011 and claimed more than 500,000 lives.

Source: Al Jazeera