Yemeni TikTok Influencer Supports Houthi Rebels, Accounts Suspended
Rashed Al-Haddad, a 19-year-old influencer from Yemen, is gaining attention for his TikTok videos supporting Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Despite not being a member of this Iran-backed group, his posts have become popular, especially one showing him on a hijacked ship, the Galaxy Leader, which has links to Israel. This ship was captured by the Houthis (aka Huthis) in November and is now shown off as a war prize.
Al-Haddad’s videos, some with dramatic music and showcasing the Yemeni flag and a traditional dagger, have drawn millions of views.
He resembles actor Timothee Chalamet, earning him the nickname “Tim-Houthi Chalamet” on social media.
Living in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, he has refused offers from fashion and advertising, choosing instead to focus on the Palestinian cause.
His rising profile coincides with an increased global focus on Yemen, where Houthi attacks on shipping have provoked responses from the US and UK.
These attacks, according to the Houthis, protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza against Hamas. The situation has led to the US reclassifying the Houthis rebels as a “terrorist” group and caused significant disruptions in shipping routes.
Al-Haddad’s content, contrasting with the typical image of the Houthis, shows a different side of the group.
However, his accounts on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook have been banned due to their policies against hate speech. Despite these bans, he continues to create new accounts and gain followers.
He insists that his aim is not fame for his looks but to support the Palestinian cause. Al-Haddad remains focused on this issue, despite his growing popularity and the comparisons to a Hollywood actor.
The Houthis, a Yemen-based group, are rebelling against Yemen’s internationally recognized government. They justify their actions as a response to foreign intervention and oppression. However, their approach, particularly their Red Sea attacks on ships, is creating global unrest.
These aggressive acts claimed to protest against Israel’s policies in Gaza, disrupt international shipping routes, and endanger global trade. By seizing ships and escalating military actions, the Houthis contributed to the instability in the region. This not only escalates the already dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen but also threatens peace and security beyond its borders, drawing international condemnation.