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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Outrage ensues over Al Arabiya video about airspace breaches


Al Arabiya video still.

Many people online are expressing shock and outrage at a new video from Saudi-owned Al Arabiya called “Understanding the Qatar Airways ban.”

The illustrative video, which explains what rights a country has if its airspace is breached, shows a missile being shot at an aircraft in the sky.

Some said the piece is in poor taste given the ongoing Gulf dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE.

All four countries have closed their airspace to Qatar since June.

What the video shows

According to the video, countries whose airspace is trespassed upon have two main choices. The first is to dispatch a fighter plane to force the commercial aircraft to land.


“After which, its members may be prosecuted for several crimes, such as breaching national security and exposing civilians to danger,” the video said, depicting a plane with Qatar Airways’ logo on it as an example.

The second option is to “bring down any plane entering its atmosphere which is identified as an enemy target, especially in military bases, where Air Defense is unrestrained,” the video said.

In this example, a plane without a logo is shown, with a missile heading toward it.


On Twitter, many people seemed taken aback by the video, and condemned it for suggesting violence against civilian passengers.

However, others said that the piece was taken out of context and that missile shown in the video was a warning shot.

So far, the boycotting countries have said they do not want to escalate the dispute into a military conflict.

And though rhetoric on both sides remains sharp, there is no evidence to suggest the crisis will go that far.

New corridors

The video also mentions recently opened emergency corridors to Qatar Airways planes.

They were introduced following instructions from the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Boeing

The video explains that these corridors do not actually pass over the UAE, Bahrain or Egypt, but instead over international airspace and waters.

However, it also stressed they can only be used if passengers are in distress or other urgent cases.


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