Syrians are marking 10 years since peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government erupted in March 2011, touching off a popular uprising that quickly turned into a full-blown civil war.
Despite a decade of fighting and a broken country, al-Assad remains firmly in power, thanks to military support from Iran and Russia, after nearly half a million people were killed.
Ashraf al Homsi, a Syrian refugee from the Homs province, told Al Jazeera that the protesters were forced by the government to fight in 2011.
“The regime forced us to take up arms and turned the uprising into a war …. it was no longer possible to face guns with our screams,” he said. (AlJazeera)