BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of Iraqis have mourned in Baghdad a Shiite fighter killed in Syria.
Sheik Saad al-Showaily, a spokesman for Iraq's Hezbollah Brigades which has been sending fighters to Syria to fight alongside President Bashar Assad's troops, said Monday that the 50-year old Hameed Abdul-Hassan al-Missari was killed three days ago.
Al-Showaily wouldn't discuss the circumstances of al-Missari's death, but said he was killed while "defending" revered Shiite shrine of Sayida Zeinab outside the capital of Damascus. He added that al-Missari had left for Syria two months ago.
For months Iraqi Shiite fighters have trickled into Syria, where mostly Sunni rebels are fighting a regime dominated by a Shiite offshoot sect. Their relatives say they are drawn by a sense of religious duty to protect the Sayida Zeinab shrine.