Syria’s tragic descent
March 15, 2014, marked the third anniversary of the start of anti-government protests in Syria. Since the uprising began in the spring of 2011, Syria has plunged into a devastating civil war in which more than 100,000 people have been killed. More than 9 million people have been uprooted from their homes, according to the United Nations, which stopped updating its death toll estimates in January.
The regime of Bashar al-Assad has battled armed rebel groups across the country eager to end more than four decades of Assad family rule.
The brutal, ceaseless violence has destroyed some of the longest-inhabited cities on earth, crushed a once stable economy, and maimed countless scores of men, women and children. Explosions, missile strikes, tank and gunfire have taken the lives of more than 100,000 civilians.
In August 2013, the Syrian government launched a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held suburb in the capital of Damascus. More than 1,400 people, including more than 400 children, died of Sarin poisoning. The attack prompted international outrage and a deal among world powers to send United Nations inspectors into Syria to destroy the country’s deadly chemical arsenal.
Yet the war continues unabated.