“Did you kill any members of ISIS?” a hairdresser asks his client. The young man doesn’t answer. He simply stares at himself in the mirror—a soldier clad in camouflage with a rifle casually slung over his shoulder.
Another try: “So, did you kill people or not?” Save for distant gunshots, silence hangs in the air.
The reticent soldier in question is Haron, a Kurdish sniper who has come to the occupied Syrian border town of Kobani to join the resistance against ISIS. Filmmaker Reber Dosky risked his life to tell Haron’s story. In the short documentary The Sniper of Kobani, Haron reflects on his solitary life as a sniper, which requires great mathematical precision. He roams through a city of ruins, intermittently shooting to kill and pausing to meditate on the future of his people.
“Haron was glad to tell his story, as his memories haunt him,” Dosky told The Atlantic. “The most difficult part was filming Haron checking the bodies [of people he shot]. It was intense, but I am glad I could do it.”
“The things I’ve been through, I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” says Haron in the film.