Background

    Syria's civil war began during the Arab Spring in 2011 as a peaceful uprising against the country's president, Bashar al-Assad. It has since escalated — shattering the lives of Syrians, destroying cities, straining global politics, and spurring diplomatic efforts that are constantly questioned as the world witnesses the horrors of ongoing warfare.

    The numbers

    • An estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations
    • As of December 2016, 4.81 million Syrians have fled the country
    • 6.3 million people are displaced internally
    A Syrian man reacts while standing on the rubble of his house while others look for survivors and bodies in the Tariq al-Bab district of the northern city of Aleppo on February 23, 2013. Three surface-to-surface missiles fired by Syrian regime forces in Aleppo's Tariq al-Bab district have left 58 people dead, among them 36 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on February 24. AFP PHOTO/PABLO TOSCO        (Photo credit should read Pablo Tosco/AFP/Getty Images)
    A Syrian man reacts while standing on the rubble of his house while others look for survivors and bodies in the Tariq al-Bab district of the northern city of Aleppo on February 23, 2013. Three surface-to-surface missiles fired by Syrian regime forces in Aleppo's Tariq al-Bab district have left 58 people dead, among them 36 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on February 24. AFP PHOTO/PABLO TOSCO        (Photo credit should read Pablo Tosco/AFP/Getty Images)

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      A Syrian man reacts while standing on the rubble of his house while others look for survivors and bodies in the Tariq al-Bab district of the northern city of Aleppo on February 23, 2013. Three surface-to-surface missiles fired by Syrian regime forces in Aleppo's Tariq al-Bab district have left 58 people dead, among them 36 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on February 24. AFP PHOTO/PABLO TOSCO (Photo credit should read Pablo Tosco/AFP/Getty Images)

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