Imagine your stuck in the middle of nowhere, a small strip of land, a deserty mountain in the middle of a huge swathe of territory controlled by ISIS.
You have little food, weapons or ammunition, there is no electricity or water, the only way in is by the air and that’s risky at the best of times, your in the heartland of territory controlled by the Islamic State.
You fend of attacks by ISIS day and night, your completely surrounded yet manage to survive for over one year effectively cut of from the whole world.
Every day you are exposed to suicide bomb attacks, mortar rounds, heavy artillery and a huge arsenal of spohisticated weapons which ISIS uses at will. You see the people fighting by your side die every day and your stuck in basically nowhere, a small enclave in north eastern syria far away from home or even safe territory.
The position you have held for over a year then comes under attack by ISIS, bullets flying everywhere, they have tanks, armoured trucks, mortars, more weapons and ammo than you do. You fight them off again, you win, you start a new day. It’s just another day where you are fighting the frontline fight against ISIS on behalf of the world, even though most of the world is against you.
Then your position which you have held through great courage and loss gets hit by consecutive U.S airstrikes killing over 80 of your comrades, the ambulances trying to get them to the hospital is also stuck. The confusion and lack of communication means chaos, all around you people are dying, you are under attack from all sides not knowing who has just attacked you or what’s happening.
The frontline suddenly collapses, ISIS overun your position, using the aftermath of the airstrikes to attack, everything is happening quickly, there is just metres between you and the most deadly terrorist group in the world. If they capture you, they will behead you, torture you, they have no humanity.
You then regroup, reinforcements come and you take stock of what has just happened, prepare yourself and attack again. After hours of fighting and clashes, you retake some positions, but you are exhausted and at breaking point, emotions, adrenalin and fear.
Night has come and you watch on as rounds are fired from all angles, Incoming and outgoing. The fighting stops, you pause for a rest and wait to see what the next day will bring.
A day in the life of a Syrian soldier fighting in Deir al Zour