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Three years on and tens of thousands dead: Syria's bloody civil war continues

The bloody civil war that has raged for the past three years began on Saturday 15 March 2011, when pro-democracy protests were staged in the capital Damascus.

TODAY MARKS THE three year anniversary of the Syrian conflict.

The bloody civil war that has raged for the past three years began on Saturday 15 March 2011, when pro-democracy protests were staged in the capital Damascus.

Crowds demanded the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, denouncing repressive measures implemented by the regime in the wake of the Arab Spring protest movement, which had already seen the crumbling of power structures in Tunisia and Egypt.

Protesters gathered in hope, calling for governmental and economic reform.

By April, the army had been deployed to crush dissent. Soldiers opened fired on demonstrators, foreign journalists were banned from the country and internet services were shut down.

Permanent scars

According the United Nations, the death toll today has surpassed 130,000, with a further 130,000 people unaccounted for – missing or detained. Between 4.5 – 5.1 million people have been internally displaced and 3 million have fled to neighbouring countries. Horrifyingly, chemical weapons have been used on at least five occasions against ordinary men, women and children.

Life was not always this way for the Syrian people. Just three short years ago, the country was viewed as one of the more progressive, stable, and beautiful of the region – a melting pot of religions and ethnicities with a rich cultural history.

Now it is a country permanently battle-scarred, both physically and psychologically, and much of Syria’s infrastructure and heritage is gone forever.

Syria before and since the outbreak war …


Uploaded OfficielFirat

Over the past three years, appalling images have poured out of Syria. And they’re still coming.

Three years on and tens of thousands dead: Syria's bloody civil war continues
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    A wounded woman, still in shock, leaves Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria. Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    The blood of a Syrian civilian, killed by a Syrian Army sniper, is seen on the pavement outside Dar El Shifa Hospital in Aleppo, Syria.Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    A fighter comforts a child wounded by Syrian Army artillery shelling, at Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria. Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    A Syrian girl, Bushra al-Hassan, 4, injured from a government airstrike, cries at Jabal al-Zaweya village of Sarjeh, in Idlib, Syria. Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    A fighter rests inside a cave at a rebel camp in the Idlib Provence countryside, Syria. The main Syrian opposition coalition urged the international community to take swift action against the regime of President Bashar Assad in response to a U.N. finding that the nerve agent sarin was used in a deadly attack near the capital. Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    A Syrian man with more than half his body burnt from an air strike leaves a field hospital to go back home at a village turned into a battlefield with government forces in Idlib province, northern Syria. (AP Photo)Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    A Syrian doctor touches the forehead of a wounded Free Syrian Army fighter laying on a bed at a field hospital in a village turned into a battlefield with government forces in Idlib province, northern Syria. (AP Photo)Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    A displaced Syrian child plays with his baby brother near Kafer Rouma, ancient ruins used as temporary shelter by those families who have fled from the heavy fighting and shelling in the Idlib province countryside of Syria. Some 3 million people have fled Syria since the country'’s uprising against President Bashar Assad erupted in March 2011, according to the United Nations. Over that time, more than 4 million Syrians also have been internally displaced within the country.Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    Abu Abdullah Hourani, 27, covers up his face prior to his interview with The Associated Press, at the Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border. In the bustling marketplace of this sprawling camp for Syrian refugees, a mosque preacher appeals to worshippers to join their countrymen in the fight to topple President Bashar Assad. In another corner of the Zaatari camp, two men draped in the Syrian rebel flag call on refugees through loudspeakers to sign up for military training. Rebels in the camp freely acknowledge recruiting fighters in the camp.Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    A Syrian flag is planted amid rubble in the town of Hejeira in the countryside of Damascus which Syrian troops captured on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 as the government forged ahead with a military offensive that already has taken four other opposition strongholds south of the capital. (AP Photo)Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    In this Tuesday, March 11, 2014 photo, Mervat, 31, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press as she holds her 9-month-old daughter Shurouk inside their tent camp for Syrian refugees camp in Kab Elias, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Trapped in her northern Syrian village by fighting, Mervat watched her newborn baby progressively shrink. Her daughter'’s dark eyes seemed to grow bigger as her face grew more skeletal. Finally, Mervat escaped to neighboring Lebanon, and a nurse told her the girl was starving. Such stark malnutrition was rare in Syria in the past, but as the country'’s conflict enters its fourth year, international aid workers fear malnutrition is rising among children in Syria and among refugees amid the collapse in the health care system. Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    Mustafa Abu Bekir, 23, centre, reacts as he meets with his relatives after crossing the Turkish Cilvegozu gate border. Abu Bekir said he was severely wounded by a bomb dropped from a Syrian Army warplane, while fighting with the Free Syrian Army a month ago in Idlib. Source: Gregorio Borgia
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    A Syrian refugee sits on the ground at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese Town of Al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. Source: Hussein Malla
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    Syrian refugees say goodbye to relatives at the International Organization for Migration office before some board a bus to Beirut International Airport for a flight to Germany where they have been accepted for temporary resettlement, in Beirut, Lebanon. Source: AP/Press Association Images
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    Two Syrian men who fled from Yabroud, the last rebel stronghold in Syria's mountainous Qalamoun region, set up their tent, in Wadi Hmaied between the Lebanese-Syrian border and the town of Arssal, in eastern Lebanon. Source: AP/Press Association Images

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