A former Saudi Arabian soldier was given a state funeral in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Saturday after being “martyred” fighting alongside the pro-Houthi armed forces in the province of Marib. Abdulaziz Yousef Saed Mohamed Omar, also known as Abu Al-Ezz, was a Saudi citizen hailing from Makkah. He is believed to be the first such Saudi defector without Yemeni roots.
According to the Yemen Press Agency, Omar was a former prisoner of war who was captured on the battlefield. After his release, he decided to settle in Yemen and fight with the Houthi-aligned Yemeni army against the Saudi-led coalition forces.
— Tony Toh (@tonytohcy) March 28, 2021
Omar was given a state funeral in the presence of senior Houthi officials. He is buried in the vicinity of Al-Shaab Mosque, formerly Al-Saleh Mosque, named after late President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
A senior member of the Sanaa-based Supreme Political Council, Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, praised the Saudi national on Twitter and thanked everyone for attending his funeral. Al-Houthi also shared an obituary the day before, describing Omar as “The Martyr from Makkah”.
تجند السعودية بأموالها
ويتجند الأحرار من الحجاز وشبه الجزيرة للدفاع عن المظلومية التي يرتكبها العدوان
عزاؤنا لزملائه الأبطال الذين يقدمون أروع البطولات في الميدان
كما هي كذلك لجميع المجاهدين في الجبهات
وشكرا لكل من حضر التشييع له وللشهداء
العظماء في كل منطقة وعظم الله أجر أهليهم pic.twitter.com/PTk2PHX3C2
— محمد علي الحوثي (@Moh_Alhouthi) March 27, 2021
Sanaa and Yemen’s other most populous regions are under the administration of the de-facto Houthi-led government formed two years after the Houthi and allied armed forces seized the capital in 2014. Marib city is the last remaining pro-coalition stronghold in the north, where Saudi-backed forces are fighting on behalf of the internationally-recognised government-in-exile based in Riyadh.