The Syrian civil war has hit Inkhil hard. Just an hour's drive from Daraa, where protests six years ago sparked the ongoing conflict, this ramshackle, rebel-held town bears the trappings of relentless battle: devastated buildings, caved-in windows, and roads turned to rubble.

But a group of local teenagers have devised a daring way to reclaim Inkhil's ruins. On quiet days when the fighting has paused, they take to the streets, mount the decimated rooftops, and take a leap.

Ibrahim al-Kadiri and another parkour practitioner demonstrate their skills on damaged buildings in Inkhil, Syria. | (REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

Nineteen-year-old Ibrahim al-Kadiri first discovered parkour in Jordan, where he had fled to escape the violence in Inkhil, his hometown. The extreme sport is derived from an obstacle-course training method used in the French military called parcours du combattant ("the path of the warrior").

As a sport, the idea is to move from point A to point B in a way that maximizes speed and efficiency, using the obstacles in your path (doors, fences, trees, the edge of a building) to propel your journey rather than stop it. Skilled practitioners also add flips and flare as a means of personal expression. Parkour is so popular now that Britain recognizes it as an official sport, and global organizations and competitions have arisen to meet the demand.

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

Kadiri brought the discipline back to Inkhil when he returned in 2015 and now leads a team of 15 teens to perform in some of the most challenging parts of town. Spectators often watch, and the team also records and photographs their moves to share on social media. Physical danger is always in the mix: Broken toes, bruises, and twisted necks happen regularly, and Kadiri was once bedridden for days after throwing his back out during a stunt. But the risk is part of the allure.

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

For Kadiri and his team, parkour is about more than an adrenaline rush. "Parkour gets us out of the atmosphere of war and makes us forget some of our pain and sorrow," Kadiri told Reuters. "It makes me feel mythical."

And the sentiment isn't unique to Inkhil: The sport has spread to other war-torn parts of the world — from Iran to Gaza and beyond — offering young people a way to feel powerful, to act their age, and gain a modicum of control in an otherwise chaotic existence.

"When I jump from a high place," an 18-year-old Syrian told Reuters, "I feel free."

Here's a glimpse at the Inkhil parkour team's daring acrobatics.

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)

(REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)