Beirut: Syrians opposed to the Moscow-backed regime of President Bashar al-Assad have taken to social media to celebrate Russia’s exit from the World Cup.
Croatia defeated the hosts in a tense quarter-final penalty shootout on Saturday night in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“Croatia squashes Russia and kicks them out of the World Cup,” Abu al-Hoda al-Homsi, an activist in rebel-held northern Syria wrote on Twitter.
“One day, they’ll be kicked out of Syria by the Syrian people.”
Russia intervened militarily on Assad’s side in 2015, four years into Syria’s conflict, and has since helped the regime regain large parts of the country from rebels and jihadists.
“Praise God for making Russians cry and giving joy to Syrian and Arabs, tweeted Ahmed Ramadan of the exiled opposition’s National Coalition.
Syria’s war has killed 350,000 people and displaced millions since it started with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests in 2011.