On August 21, 2013 at around 4:45am, Qusai Zakarya heard terrifying alarms coming from the Syrian capital Damascus.
"It was the kind of noise you hear in a movie about World War II," Zakarya told HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani.
Zakarya was a victim of the widely publicized chemical weapons attack outside Damascus that reportedly took the lives of hundreds of people. Although the Syrian government has denied involvement, it is widely believed that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad were responsible. Experts have suggested that only government forces possessed the technological expertise and capability to carry out this assault.
Zakarya explained how seconds after the initial alarm, missile blasts apparently fired by forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Assad erupted through the Damascus suburb of Moadamiya, hitting only 100 meters from Zarkaya. He lost breath, his chest felt like it was on fire, all he could hear was screams from his surrounding town.
He began waking his friends, when a neighbor knocked at the door. Two of her four children were unconscious, in desperate need of help. Fleeing to the street, Zarkaya and his friends were confronted with a chaotic scene never to be forgotten.
"It felt like judgement day seeing all of these people running into the streets and falling on the ground," said Zarkaya.
He recalled a young boy, maybe thirteen, unconscious in the street.
"I will never ever forget the sight of his wide blue eyes staring at almost nothing," Zarkaya said.
Watch a clip of the interview with Zarkaya in the video above. You can find the full segment here.