What started as mainly a socio/ economic straggle of the people against an authoritarian government rabidly turned in to a sectarian, religious conflict that its implications we will not be able to assess for years to come.

The cautious stance adopted by the international community and Western powers, facing their own domestic problems and “tired” by two long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the involvement of regional powers has turned the conflict in to a proxy war.

On one side Saudi Arabia and Qatar, defenders of Sunni Islam, along with Turkey that sees an opportunity for its influence to grow within the region while at the same time trying to deal with its own domestic threats, namely the Kurdish issue and the potential implications a destabilized Syria could have.

On the opposite end Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon, all three of them Shiite and aligned politically to each other, joined by Russia that still bears the memories of the Chechen conflict and is troubled by a possible revival of Islamic militant groups in its own back yard.

As the flow of resources in rebel held areas continues to be limited, the various factions have begun to splinter as they compete for funding and influence while fighting a brutal war against the government.

Militant Islamic groups were quick to identify and capitalize upon the power vacuum, by way of successful military operations and by replacing government structures in liberated areas providing the civilian population with some sort of continuation and normality.

With many militant groups openly supporting an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law and moderate voices pushed to the sideline, civilians are watching unable to influence events while the drums of war are echoed all over the country.

Aleppo - Syria / 22 January 2013:

A man walks by his house that was destroyed during an air raid by the Syrian Army air force.

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Marea - Syria / 16 August 2013:

Residents from the village of Marea looking through the rubble of their house after a helicopter dropped a barrel bomb that completely destroyed ten houses.

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Aleppo - Syria / 5 October 2012:

Civilians chanting antigovernment slogans while they evacuate the remains of a family that was killed during a Syrian army operation in the old city of Aleppo.

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Marea - Syria / 15 August 2013:

An old woman mourning after her house was destroyed during an air raid by the Syrian Army air force.

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Aleppo - Syria / 22 January 2013:

House destroyed after months of heavy fighting near the old city of Aleppo

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Aleppo - Syria / 9 September 2012:

Civilians carrying the body of a man who was killed by a snipper while he was trying to cross a street near his house.

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Aleppo - Syria / 21 August 2013:

The funeral of a man who died when his house was destroyed during a mortar barrage that was targeting rebel positions.

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Aleppo - Syria / 12 August 2012:

A man suspected of spying for the government is dragged through the streets of Aleppo moments after his arrest by rebel forces.

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Aleppo - Syria / 27 October 2012:

A man carrying what is left of his belongings after his house was destroyed during heavy fighting in the city of Aleppo.

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Aleppo - Syria / 9 November 2012:

A member of a rebel unit standing guard during Friday prayers in Aleppo.

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Aleppo - Syria / 31 July 2012:

Civilians waiting in line to buy bread.

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Aleppo - Syria / 7 January 2013:

Men pulling survivors from the rubble of a building that was destroyed by a missile targeting civilians.

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Aleppo - Syria / 10 August 2012:

The reflection of bystanders looking at a bakery shop that was destroyed during an air raid by the Syrian Army air force resulting in the death of 24 people.

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Aleppo - Syria / 20 October 2012:

A civilian is carried to a field hospital minutes after he was shot by a snipper.

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Aleppo - Syria / 3 September 2012:

Men carry the body of a ten year old girl that was killed durning an artillery barrage that was targeting rebel positions.

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Aleppo - Syria / 7 January 2013:

A man chanting anti government slogans minutes after a missile destroyed a residential area in Aleppo.

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Aleppo - Syria / 17 August 2012:

Due to the high no's of civilian casualties bodies are packed with ice blocks and stacked on the sidewalk outside a hospital until members of the family come to identify and claim the bodies.

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Aleppo - Syria / 17 August 2012:

A family leaving their neighborhood after heavy fighting between rebel forces and the Syrian Army for the control of the area.

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Bab al Salam refugee camp - Syria / 1 January 2013:

View of the Bab al Salam refugee camp on the Turkish - Syrian border.

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Bab al Salam refugee camp - Syria / 1 January 2013:

Refugees from Aleppo building temporary shelters in the Bab al Salam refugee camp on the Turkish - Syrian border.

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Bab al Salam refugee camp - Syria / 1 January 2013:

Refugees waiting for food distribution at the Bab al Salam refugee camp.

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Bab al Salam refugee camp - Syria / 31 December 2012:

Refugees waiting for food distribution at the Bab al Salam refugee camp.

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Bab al Salam refugee camp - Syria / 11 January 2013:

Refugees waiting to collect wooden pallets to be used as heating material at the Bab al Salam refugee camp.

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Bab al Salam refugee camp - Syria / 1 January 2013:

A woman carrying water at the Bab al Salam refugee camp on the Turkish - Syrian border.

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Aleppo - Syria / 22 January 2013:

A kid playing in the rubble of a house destroyed during an artillery barrage by the Syrian Army.

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