Shamseddin Gaidan

Teenager from Ireland killed fighting with Syrian rebels


Shamseddin Gaidan

A sixteen-year-old teenager from Navan, Ireland has been killed while fighting with Syrian rebels.

Shamseddin Gaidan joined rebels in Syria last year without his parent consent. The circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. His father Ibrahim, who runs a halal grocery shop in Navan,  was informed of his son's death in a phone call from Syria the Irish Times reports.

“We don’t know where or how he was killed and we don’t know where his body might be,” said Mr Gaidan.

“It is very difficult to get any information. This confusion makes our grief much worse.”

Shamseddin and his family moved to Ireland from Libya in 2001. Last year, he spent the summer in Libya and was supposed to return to Ireland in mid-August.

His family was concerned when he did not arrive in Dublin as planned. Later they learned he had he had crossed the Turkish border into Syria.

“We heard nothing from him until one day someone called from Syria saying Shamseddin is here and he is helping the Syrian people,” said Mr Gaidan.

Shamseddin appeared to had joined up with a cousin from Libya who had traveled to Syria some time before. The cousin is also believed to have been killed.

The last Mr Gaidan heard from his son was a brief phone call a while later during which he pleaded with his son to return home.

“He refused saying how could he leave when the Syrian regime was killing its own people, including children.”

Mourners gathered at Tallaght mosque in Dublin last week to offer condolences to the Gaidan family.

Shamseddin is the second person from Ireland to have died after joining the rebels in Syria.

Last December, 22-year-old Egyptian-born Hudhaifa ElSayed, from Drogheda, was shot dead by regime forces in northern Syria.


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