Sakhanh lived in Italy from 2002 until 2011, working as an electrician.
In 2011, when the Syrian civil war broke out, he actively protested against the Syrian regime. In 2012, the Italian police arrested him during riots at the Syrian embassy in Rome. After being interrogated by the police, he was released and summoned to appear before a judge. Shortly after these events, he fled to Syria to join the rebels and started working with Commander Abdul Saamad Issa (known as “The Uncle”).
According to sources, in April 2012 in the Syrian north-western province of Idlib, a group of Syrian rebels killed seven captured soldiers. The victims were executed with their hands tied in their back, head in the ground. In September 2013, the New York Times released a video picturing this killing scene. Sakhanh was identified as one of the alleged executioner in that video.
In June 2013, Sakhanh travelled to Sweden and applied for asylum, and obtained an official Swedish residency permit in October 2013.