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Houthi social media sensation compared to Hollywood stars calls on UK and US to 'stop this war'

A teenager behind videos filmed onboard a ship being held by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea has called on the UK and US to "stop this war".

Rashid al Haddad's social media videos include him being seen on the Galaxy Leader cargo ship, which was hijacked by the Houthi militant group last November.

The 19-year-old Yemeni has been dubbed 'Tim Houthi Chalamet' and the 'hot Houthi pirate' on the internet for his videos in the Red Sea.

Attacks by Yemen's Houthi fighters - officially known as "Supporters of God" or "Ansar Allah" in Arabic - have been made against Israel and on commercial ships.

The Iranian-backed group has defied repeated warnings to stop targeting ships in the Red Sea - but the rebels say vessels heading to and from Israel are legitimate targets.

US and British forces have launched strikes in the area and have shot down drones launched by Houthis against their vessels.

But Rashid told Sky News he had been posting videos about his experiences to show "solidarity with Palestine".

Through translation, he added: "My message is that they stop this war, and they reassess the situation in Palestine.

"There are children starving, thirsty, dying under bombardment (in Gaza)... like a two-year-old child dying from bombardment.

"Why? Because of the actions of the Zionists?

"Yemen stood with Palestine, and was being bombarded for this solidarity, but this hasn't affected us and we will continue to stand by Palestine."

Read more:
Who are the Houthis - and how did the group form?
The West is embroiled in widening Middle East conflict 

He said he considers himself a "media personality" - but his main mission is to "spread awareness" about Palestine.

Rashid had to keep setting up new accounts after previous ones on Facebook "would get shut down".

"All of the Yemeni people are with Ansar Allah and with Palestine, even if I appear with arms, all Yemenis carry arms - it's normal," he added.

Most of the international community believes the only long-term outcome for regional stability is a two-state solution - a scenario rejected by Israel which wants "control over all the territory west of the Jordan".

The latest unrest in the region began when Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October last year - killing more than 1,000 Israelis and taking hundreds hostage. Israel has killed more than 25,000 people in Gaza since its response began, according to the Hamas-run health ministry there.