A former rebel fighter recounts why Syrians decided to pick up arms against the forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime, 10 years ago.
It’s been 10 years since the start of the so-called Syrian revolution when Syrians, inspired by the initial successes of the Arab Spring, joined protests and the quest for a different future.
The response by the regime of Bashar Assad was ruthless: thousands ended up in jail, tortured, and the fighting escalated, sending the country into civil war.
Faced with unsparing violence, one Syrian recounts how, at the age of 21, he decided to take up arms.
“I was not a doctor, I didn’t know how else to help. So I decided to fight," Khaled tells Euronews.
It was a decision he questioned multiple times during the years he spent in the war, conflicted about taking people's lives.
Wounded, the former rebel fighter was forced to leave Syria and look for a new beginning in Europe - which, he says, has been even more trying than the war.
"To destroy is super easy, to kill is super easy. To gain trust, to spread happiness, to spread knowledge, to rebuild, is super hard," he says.
Watch Khaled’s story in the video player above.
In a series of reports on Syria on the 10th anniversary of the start of the conflict, Euronews explores the conflict through the personal experience of people who were forced to flee Syria and seek refuge in Europe.