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Yemenis divided over support for Saudi Arabia after World Cup win | Qatar World Cup 2022 News

Among the thousands of tweets sent out to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s shock 2-1 victory over Argentina in the World Cup on Tuesday, there were a few from unexpected sources.

Congratulations for the Saudi national team’s victory over the Argentine national team. This victory put Arab football back on the map, tweeted Dhaifallah Al-Shami, a member of the political bureau of the Yemeni rebel Houthi movement.

Why unexpected?

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The Houthis have been waging an active war against Saudi Arabia since 2015, with the latter launching thousands of air strikes in support of the Houthis’ enemy, the Yemeni government.

In fact, the Houthis have called Saudi Arabia “the horn of Satan.”

So it was no surprise that Shami soon deleted his tweet.

Abd al-Qadir al-Murtada, head of the Houthi group in the National Committee for Prisoners Affairs, was the last to delete a congratulatory tweet from Saudi Arabia. He also tweeted “a thousand congratulations” to the Saudi team for their victory in a post that was later deleted.

Al-Murtada later clarified that his tweet was a message of brotherhood to the people of “Hejaz and Najd”, using the names of two well-known regions in Saudi Arabia, instead of the name of the country itself.

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Al-Murtada added, “The wounds of our people from the House of Saud are deep… I offer my deepest apologies.”

The initial posts by Houthi members reflect a degree of support for the Saudi national team during the World Cup, which has spilled over into Yemen’s political divide.

Some Yemenis even took to the streets to celebrate the festivities and joy in the streets.

Videos of the celebrations went viral on social media, with a Yemeni user saying that Saudi Arabia’s victory “pleased our hearts and lifted Arabs’ heads.” [made us proud]It makes Yemenis happy everywhere, as if it were the Yemeni national team.”

Some anti-Houthi Yemenis shared the videos, with one user saying: “Happy Arab celebrations [Yemen]even after the airstrikes exhausted them.”

Yemen has been mired in conflict since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi rebel group seized control of much of the northern part of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, as the government fled. In March 2015, a coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia intervened in the war with the aim of restoring the government.

The conflict has devastated the country, created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and has devolved over the years into a regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. More than 150,000 people were killed, including 14,500 civilians.

For some Yemenis, this simply cannot be ignored.

Muhammad Abd al-Wasi al-Wajih, a TV presenter for the Houthi-affiliated Al Masirah TV, said he was offended by Yemeni support for Saudi Arabia.

Who said football is a soft war [soft power] The notable said that the way Westerners pass what they want to billions of people…is correct.

“It bothered me a lot when the majority congratulated the Saudi team because they are Arabs…they can all go to hell.”

Another Houthi supporter said on Twitter that he “did not and will not celebrate the Saudi national team’s victory over Argentina,” before referring to members of the Saudi national team’s support for the Saudi army.

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