If he keeps wearing bright red shirts and pants he won’t live to see nine.
He was meant to start school, learn how to read and write and meet friends. Instead he goes around carrying a rifle, runs for cover at the sound of shelling and smokes cigarettes.
At eight, Ahmed is already a soldier in the Free Syrian Army. His picture, holding a rifle and smoking a cigarette, has gone viral in the past week and has done what a thousand words could never do – it reminded the world of the terrible reality of the Syrian civil war. […]
According to the report, Ahmed’s mother and father died in a mortar strike in Salaheddin neighborhood, where his father had been working as a fighter with the rebel Free Syrian Army. Now the only person Ahmed has left is his uncle, a rebel who the boy follows and imitates as he fights against government soldiers.
“There is always something to do here, I am never bored,” he says of life as a child-rebel. “The fighting has calmed down a lot from last year, we had a lot of mortars, but snipers are still a big problem.”