Teacher-turned-soldier shows reporter around war-torn Homs Syria

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Bassam Shaaban, an art teacher in Syria's Homs, traded his brush for a Kalashnikov and volunteered for National Defense Forces after a deadly rebel attack ravaged his school. He took an RT correspondent on a tour around the city devastated by war. Twenty-nine-year-old Bassam is still haunted by memories of the day two-and-a-half years ago when the war suddenly broke into his classroom. "I was teaching when a mortar shell landed in the schoolyard," he says. "There were a lot of victims. I remember, as I held one little girl who had been killed and seeing her blood, I felt sorry for her family. From then I knew I had to get involved." Now, the teacher-turned-soldier displays his expertise in the art of war, as he confidently takes RT's Paula Slier past a sniper valley, saying that he is used to crossing it safely. Homs has been the epicenter of the battle between government forces and rebels since the very start of the conflict. For quite a long time it was besieged by the rebels. Now they only control parts of the old city, where about 3,000 people civilians live. The army has managed to take most of Homs it back under its control. http://rt.com/

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