Man raised in Ireland killed fighting with rebel forces in Syria

Circumstances surrounding the death of Alaa Ciymeh (26) remain unclear

A Jordanian-born man who grew up in Ireland has been killed fighting with rebel forces in Syria.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Alaa Ciymeh (26) remain unclear given the difficulties of obtaining reliable information from inside the country.

His father, who lives in Dublin, was informed of his son’s death this week. Mourners gathered at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Clonskeagh, Dublin, on Wednesday to offer condolences to the family.

The Ciymeh family, who are Palestinian, moved to Ireland when Alaa was very young. He attended the Muslim National School in Clonskeagh, before going on to study at De La Salle College in Churchtown.


He moved back to Jordan in 2008, where he set up a small business. He decided to join the uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad 18 months ago.

Third person
Ciymeh is the third person with links to Ireland to die after joining rebels in Syria.

In February, Libyan-born Shamseddin Gaidan (16) from Navan, Co Meath, was killed after he went to Syria without his parents’ permission.

Egyptian-born Hudhaifa ElSayed (22), from Drogheda, Co Louth, was shot dead by regime forces in northern Syria in December. He had travelled to Syria as part of Liwa al-Umma, a rebel brigade founded by a Libyan-Irish man named Mehdi al-Harati, who also commanded a unit during the Libyan revolution.

Up to 20 men from Ireland are estimated to have joined rebel forces in Syria.

Senior figures in Ireland’s Muslim community have tried to discourage others from going to fight.