US Vice President Joe Biden silenced a heckler who barracked him during a speech on the Middle East shouting: "My friend died!" He responded: "So did my son."

The interruption came at a Hillary Clinton rally in Cleveland on 1 September during Biden's address on US foreign policy in Syria, with the heckler repeatedly shouting: "My friends died."

He continued: "My friends died, they fought for you. My American friends died. My friends died!"

As Clinton supporters attempted to drown out the calls of the heckler by chanting: "Hillary, Hillary!" Biden replied to the man: "Will you listen? So did my son."

He immediately silenced the crowd, offering to speak with the heckler afterwards, adding: "Come back after and talk to me about this, you have my permission ok?"

Biden's son Beau, who was a captain in the Delaware Army National Guard, died last year of brain cancer aged 46 at a military hospital.

He was awarded a Bronze Star for serving in Iraq and spent eight years as Delaware's attorney general.

It was not the first time tragedy had blighted Joe Biden's life. His first wife (Beau's mother) Neilia was killed in a car accident in 1972 alongside the couple's daughter Naomi.

Biden has spoken openly of his son's death as well as the time he spent in Iraq and has referred to war veterans as 'the heart, soul and spine' of the nation.