Syrian Civil War Fast Facts

CNN
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Here is some background information about the ongoing civil war in Syria. In the first five years of the war, which began in 2011, an estimated 400,000 Syrians were killed, according to the UN Envoy for Syria.

Bashar al-Assad has ruled Syria as president since July 2000. His father, Hafez al-Assad, ruled Syria from 1970-2000.

The ongoing violence against civilians has been condemned by the Arab League, the European Union, the United States and other countries.

As of March 2022, roughly 5.7 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and more than 6.7 million people are displaced internally.

According to UNICEF’s Representative in Syria, Bo Viktor Nylund, “Since 2011, nearly 12,000 children were verified as killed or injured in Syria, that’s one child every eight hours over the past ten years.” Nylund said that the actual figures are likely much higher.

When the civil war began in 2011, there were four main factions of fighting groups throughout the country: Kurdish forces, ISIS, other opposition (such as Jaish al Fateh, an alliance between the Nusra Front and Ahrar-al-Sham) and the Assad regime. But as ISIS loses control of most of its territory, combatants are now freer to attack each other.

March 2011 – Violence flares in Daraa after a group of teens and children are arrested for writing political graffiti. Dozens of people are killed when security forces crack down on demonstrations.

March 24, 2011 – In response to continuing protests, the Syrian government announces several plans to appease citizens. State employees will receive an immediate salary increase. The government also plans to study lifting Syria’s long standing emergency law and the licensing of new political parties.

March 30, 2011 – Assad addresses the nation in a 45-minute televised speech. He acknowledges that the government has not met the people’s needs, but he does not offer any concrete changes. The state of emergency remains in effect.

April 21, 2011 – Assad lifts the country’s 48-year-old state of emergency. He also abolishes the Higher State Security Court and issues a decree “regulating the right to peaceful protest, as one of the basic human rights guaranteed by the Syrian Constitution.”

May 18, 2011 – The United States imposes sanctions against Assad and six other senior Syrian officials. The Treasury Department details the sanctions by saying, “As a result of this action, any property in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons in which the individuals listed in the Annex have an interest is blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”

August 18, 2011 – The US imposes new economic sanctions on Syria, freezing Syrian government assets in the US, barring Americans from making new investments in the country and prohibiting any US transactions relating to Syrian petroleum products, among other things.

September 2, 2011 – The European Union bans the import of Syrian oil.

September 23, 2011 – The EU imposes additional sanctions against Syria, due to “the continuing brutal campaign” by the government against its own people.

October 2, 2011 – A new alignment of Syrian opposition groups establishes the Syrian National Council, a framework through which to end Assad’s government and establish a democratic system.

October 4, 2011 – Russia and China veto a UN Security Council resolution that would call for an immediate halt to the crackdown in Syria against opponents of Assad. Nine of the 15-member council countries, including the United States, voted in favor of adopting the resolution.

November 12, 2011 – The Arab League suspends Syria’s membership, effective November 16, 2011.

November 27, 2011 – Foreign ministers from 19 Arab League countries vote to impose economic sanctions against the Syrian regime for its part in a bloody crackdown on civilian demonstrators.

November 30, 2011 – Turkey announces a series of measures, including financial sanctions, against Syria.

December 19, 2011 – Syria signs an Arab League proposal aimed at ending violence between government forces and protesters.

January 28, 2012 – The Arab League suspends its mission in Syria as violence there continues.

February 2, 2012 – A UN Security Council meeting ends with no agreement on a draft resolution intended to pressure Syria to end its crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

February 4, 2012 – A UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria is not adopted after Russia and China vote against it.

February 6, 2012 – The United States closes its embassy in Damascus and recalls its diplomats.

February 7, 2012 – The Gulf Cooperation Council announces its member states are pulling their ambassadors from Damascus and expelling the Syrian ambassadors in their countries.

February 16, 2012 – The United Nations General Assembly passes a nonbinding resolution endorsing the Arab League plan for Assad to step down. The vote was 137 in favor and 12 against, with 17 abstentions.

February 26, 2012 – Syrians vote on a constitutional referendum in polling centers across the country. Almost 90% of voters approve the changes to the constitution, which include the possibility of a multi-party system.

March 13, 2012 – Kofi Annan, the UN special envoy to Syria, meets in Turkey with government officials and Syrian opposition members. In a visit to Syria over the weekend, he calls for a ceasefire, the release of detainees and allowing unfettered access to relief agencies to deliver much-needed aid.

March 15, 2012 – The Gulf Cooperation Council announces that the six member countries will close their Syrian embassies and calls on the international community “to stop what is going on in Syria.”

March 27, 2012 – The Syrian government accepts Annan’s plan to end violence. The proposal seeks to stop the violence, give access to humanitarian agencies, release detainees and start a political dialogue to address the concerns of the Syrian people.

April 1, 2012 – At a conference in Istanbul, the international group Friends of the Syrian People formally recognizes the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

July 30, 2012 – The Syrian Charge d’Affaires in London, Khaled al-Ayoubi, resigns, stating he is “no longer willing to represent a regime that has committed such violent and oppressive acts against its own people.”

August 2, 2012 – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announces that Annan will not renew his mandate when it expires at the end of August.

August 6, 2012 – Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab’s resignation from office and defection from Assad’s regime is read on Al Jazeera by his spokesman Muhammad el-Etri. Hijab and his family are said to have left Syria overnight, arriving in Jordan. Hijab is the highest-profile official to defect.

August 9, 2012 – Syrian television reports that Assad has appointed Health Minister Wael al-Halki as the new prime minister.

October 3, 2012 – Five people are killed by Syrian shelling in the Turkish border town of Akcakale. In response, Turkey fires on Syrian targets and its parliament authorizes a resolution giving the government permission to deploy its soldiers to foreign countries.

November 11, 2012 – Israel fires warning shots toward Syria after a mortar shell hits an Israeli military post. It is the first time Israel has fired on Syria across the Golan Heights since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

November 11, 2012 – Syrian opposition factions formally agree to unite as the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

November 13, 2012 – Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib is elected leader of the Syrian opposition collective, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

January 6, 2013 – Assad announces he will not step down and that his vision of Syria’s future includes a new constitution and an end to support for the opposition. The opposition refuses to work with Assad’s government.

March 19, 2013 – The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces elects Ghassan Hitto as its prime minister. Though born in Damascus, Hitto has spent much of his life in the United States, and holds dual US and Syrian citizenship.

April 25, 2013 – US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announces the United States has evidence that the chemical weapon sarin has been used in Syria on a small scale.

May 27, 2013 – EU nations end the arms embargo against the Syrian rebels.

May 27, 2013 – US Senator John McCain visits rebels in Syria. It is reported that he is the highest ranking US official to visit since the beginning of the war.

June 13, 2013 – US President Barack Obama says that Syria has crossed a “red line” with its use of chemical weapons against rebels. His administration indicates that it will be stepping up its support of the rebels, who have been calling for the US and others to provide arms needed to battle Assad’s forces.

July 6, 2013 – Ahmad Assi Jarba is elected the new leader of the Syrian National Coalition.

August 18, 2013 – A team of UN weapons inspectors arrives in Syria to begin an investigation into whether chemical weapons have been used during the civil war.

August 22, 2013 – The UN and the US call for an immediate investigation of Syrian activists’ claims that the Assad government used chemical weapons in an attack on civilians on August 21. Anti-regime activist groups in Syria say more than 1,300 people were killed in the attack outside Damascus, many of them women and children.

August 24, 2013 – Medical charity Doctors Without Borders announces that three hospitals near Damascus treated more than 3,000 patients suffering “neurotoxic symptoms” on August 21. Reportedly, 355 of the patients died.

August 26, 2013 – UN inspectors reach the site of a reported chemical attack in Moadamiyet al-Sham, near Damascus. En route to the site, the team’s convoy is hit by sniper fire. No one is injured.

August 29, 2013 – The UK’s Parliament votes against any military action in Syria.

August 30, 2013 – US Secretary of State John Kerry says that US intelligence information has found that 1,429 people were killed in last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria, including at least 426 children.

September 9, 2013 – Syria agrees to a Russian proposal to give up control of its chemical weapons.

September 10, 2013 – In a speech, Obama says he will not “put American boots on the ground in Syria,” but does not rule out other military options.

September 14, 2013 – The United States and Russia agree to a plan to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria.

September 16, 2013 – The United Nations releases a report from chemical weapons inspectors who investigated the August 21 incident. Inspectors say there is “clear and convincing evidence” that sarin was used.

September 20, 2013 – Syria releases an initial report on its chemical weapons program.

September 27, 2013 – The UN Security Council passes a resolution requiring Syria to eliminate its arsenal of chemical weapons. Assad says he will abide by the resolution.

September 30, 2013 – At the UN General Assembly in New York, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem says that Syria is not engaged in a civil war, but a war on terror.

October 6, 2013 – Syria begins dismantling its chemical weapons program, including the destruction of missile warheads and aerial bombs.

October 31, 2013 – The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announces that Syria has destroyed all its declared chemical weapons production facilities.

November 25, 2013 – The United Nations announces that starting January 22 in Geneva, Switzerland, the Syrian government and an unknown number of opposition groups will meet at a “Geneva II” conference meant to broker an end to the Syrian civil war.

December 2, 2013 – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says that a UN fact-finding team has found “massive evidence” that the highest levels of the Syrian government are responsible for war crimes.

January 20, 2014 – The Syria National Coalition announces it won’t participate in the Geneva II talks unless the United Nations rescinds its surprise invitation to Iran or Iran agrees to certain conditions. The United Nations later rescinds Iran’s invitation.

February 13, 2014 – The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons tells CNN that Syria has shipped out 11% of its chemical weapons stockpile, falling far short of the February 5 deadline to have all such arms removed from the country.

February 15, 2014 – A second round of peace talks ends in Geneva, Switzerland, with little progress in ending Syria’s civil war.

February 23, 2014 – The UN Security Council unanimously passes a resolution boosting access to humanitarian aid in Syria.

June 3, 2014 – Assad is reelected, reportedly receiving 88.7% of the vote in the country’s first election since civil war broke out in 2011.

September 22-23, 2014 – The United States and allies launch airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, focusing on the city of Raqqa.

September 14-15, 2015 – A Pentagon spokesperson says the Russian military appears to be attempting to set up a forward operating base in western Syria, in the area around the port city of Latakia. Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Russia is supporting the Syrian government in its fight against ISIS.

October 30, 2015 – White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that the US will be deploying “less than 50” Special Operations forces, who will be sent to Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria. The American troops will help local Kurdish and Arab forces fighting ISIS with logistics and are planning to bolster their efforts.

February 26, 2016 – A temporary cessation of hostilities goes into effect. The truce calls for the Syrian regime and rebels to give relief organizations access to disputed territories so they can assist civilians.

March 15, 2016 – Russia starts withdrawing its forces from Syria. A spokeswoman for Assad tells CNN that the Russian campaign is winding down after achieving its goal of helping Syrian troops take back territory claimed by terrorists.

September 15, 2016 – At least 23 people, including nine children, are killed during airstrikes in Syria, with the United States and Russia accusing each other of violating the ceasefire in effect since September 12.

September 17, 2016 – US-led coalition airstrikes near Deir Ezzor Airport intended to target ISIS instead kill 62 Syrian soldiers.

September 20, 2016 – An aid convoy and warehouse of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are bombed; no one claims responsibility. The strike prompts the UN to halt aid operations in Syria.

September 23-25, 2016 – About 200 airstrikes hit Aleppo during the weekend, with one activist telling CNN it is a level of bombing they have not seen before.

December 13, 2016 – As government forces take control of most of Aleppo from rebel groups, Turkey and Russia broker a ceasefire for eastern Aleppo so that civilians can be evacuated. The UN Security Council holds an emergency session amid reports of mounting civilian deaths and extrajudicial killings. The ceasefire collapses less than a day after it is implemented.

December 22, 2016 – Syria’s state-run media announces government forces have taken full control of Aleppo, ending more than four years of rebel rule there.

April 4, 2017 – Dozens of civilians are reportedly killed in a suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. The Russian Defense Ministry claims that gas was released when Syrian forces bombed a chemical munitions depot operated by terrorists. Activists, however, say that Syrians carried out a targeted chemical attack.

April 6, 2017 – The United States launches a military strike on a Syrian government airbase in response to the chemical weapon attack on civilians. On US President Donald Trump’s orders, US warships launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the airbase which was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks.

July 7, 2017 – Trump and Putin reach an agreement on curbing violence in southwest Syria during their meeting at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany. The ceasefire will take effect in the de-escalation zone beginning at noon Damascus time on July 9.

October 17, 2017 – ISIS loses control of its self-declared capital, Raqqa. US-backed forces fighting in Raqqa say “major military operations” have ended, though there are still pockets of resistance in the city.

October 26, 2017 – A joint report from the United Nations and international chemical weapons inspectors finds that the Assad regime was responsible for the April 2017 sarin attack that killed more than 80 people. Syria has repeatedly denied it had anything to do with the attack and also denies it has any chemical weapons.

February 24, 2018 – The UN Security Council unanimously approves a 30-day ceasefire resolution in Syria, though it is unclear when the ceasefire is meant to start, or how it will be enforced.

February 27, 2018 – Within minutes of when a five-hour “humanitarian pause” ordered by Putin – from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – is meant to start, activists on the ground report shelling and artillery fire from pro-regime positions, killing at least one person in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

March 6, 2018 – More than 1,000 children have been killed or injured this year across Syria, UNICEF regional communications chief Juliette Touma tells CNN. In all, 342 children were killed and 803 were injured in Syria in the first two months of 2018, Touma says, citing multiple sources.

April 7, 2018 – Helicopters drop barrel bombs filled with toxic gas on the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta, activist groups say. The World Health Organization later says that as many as 500 people may have been affected by the attack.

April 14, 2018 – The United States, France and the United Kingdom launch airstrikes on Syria in response to the chemical weapons attack in Eastern Ghouta a week earlier.

September 17, 2018 – Russia and Turkey announce they have agreed to create a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib province, potentially thwarting a large-scale military operation and impending humanitarian disaster in the country’s last rebel stronghold. The zone, which will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian military units, will become operational from October 15.

December 19, 2018 – Trump tweets, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” A US defense official and an administration official tell CNN that planning for the “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US military from Syria is already underway.

March 23, 2019 – Kurdish forces announce they have captured the eastern Syrian pocket of Baghouz, the last populated area under ISIS rule.

October 9, 2019 – Turkey launches a military offensive into northeastern Syria, just days after the Trump administration announced that US troops would leave the border area. Erdogan’s “Operation Peace Spring” is an effort to drive away Kurdish forces from the border, and use the area to resettle around two million Syrian refugees.

March 5, 2020 – Turkey and Russia announce a ceasefire in Idlib, Syria’s last opposition enclave, agreeing to establish a security corridor with joint patrols.

April 8, 2020 – The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) releases a report concluding that Syrian government forces were responsible for a series of chemical attacks on a Syrian town in late March 2017.

June 17, 2020 – The US releases 39 targets for sanctions, including Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad, that aim to drive the Syrian President back to a UN-led negotiating table and threaten to devastate Syria’s already floundering economy. On December 22, 2020, additional sanctions are announced on 18 individuals and entities – including the Syrian first lady, some of her immediate relatives, the commander of the Syrian military intelligence, the Central Bank of Syria and close advisers to Assad.

July 28, 2021 – The US sanctions Syrian prisons, Assad regime officials and militia leaders, marking the first time Joe Biden’s administration has introduced new sanctions on the country.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

UNRWA/Reuters/Landov

Displaced Syrian residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the UN Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus, Syria, on January 31, 2014. According to the UN Envoy for Syria, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed since an uprising in March 2011 spiraled into civil war. See how the conflict has unfolded.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images

An injured man lying in the back of a vehicle is rushed to a hospital in Daraa, Syria, on March 23, 2011. Violence flared in Daraa after a group of teens and children were arrested for writing political graffiti. Dozens of people were killed when security forces cracked down on demonstrations.

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Hussein Malla/AP

Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Daraa on March 23, 2011. In response to continuing protests, the Syrian government announced several plans to appease citizens.

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Vadim Ghirda/AP

Syrian children walk over bricks stored for road repairs during a spontaneous protest June 15, 2011, at a refugee camp near the Syrian border in Yayladagi, Turkey.

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Burhan Ozbilici/AP

Jamal al-Wadi speaks in Istanbul on September 15, 2011, after an alignment of Syrian opposition leaders announced the creation of a Syrian National Council — their bid to present a united front against Bashar al-Assad’s regime and establish a democratic system.

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Delegates from Arab League member states and Turkey discuss a response to the government’s crackdown in Syria on November 16, 2011.

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Khaled Al-Hariri/Reuters/LANDOV

Supporters of al-Assad celebrate during a referendum vote in Damascus on February 26, 2012. Opposition activists reported at least 55 deaths across the country as Syrians headed to the polls. Analysts and protesters widely described the constitutional referendum as a farce. “Essentially, what (al-Assad’s) done here is put a piece of paper that he controls to a vote that he controls so that he can try and maintain control,” a US State Department spokeswoman said.

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Syrian refugees walk across a field in Syria before crossing into Turkey on March 14, 2012.

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Rebel fighters with the Free Syrian Army capture a police officer in Aleppo, Syria, who they believed to be pro-regime militiaman on July 31, 2012. Dozens of officers were reportedly killed as rebels seized police stations in the city.

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A Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover as a Syrian Army tank shell hits a building across the street during clashes in the Salaheddine neighborhood of central Aleppo on August 17, 2012.

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Family members mourn the deaths of their relatives in front of a field hospital in Aleppo on August 21, 2012.

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A Syrian man carrying grocery bags dodges sniper fire in Aleppo as he runs through an alley near a checkpoint manned by the Free Syrian Army on September 14, 2012.

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Free Syrian Army fighters are reflected in a mirror they use to see a Syrian Army post only 50 meters away in Aleppo on September 16, 2012.

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Rauf Maltas/Anadolu Agency/Reuters/LANDOV

Smoke rises over the streets after a mortar bomb from Syria landed in the Turkish border village of Akcakale on October 3, 2012. Five people were killed. In response, Turkey fired on Syrian targets and its parliament authorized a resolution giving the government permission to deploy soldiers to foreign countries.

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A Syrian rebel walks inside a burnt section of the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo hours before the Syrian army retook control of the complex on October 14, 2012.

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An Israeli tank crew sits on the Golan Heights overlooking the Syrian village of Breqa on November 6, 2012. Israel fired warning shots toward Syria after a mortar shell hit an Israeli military post. It was the first time Israel fired on Syria across the Golan Heights since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

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Smoke rises in the Hanano and Bustan al-Basha districts in Aleppo as fighting continues through the night on December 1, 2012.

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The bodies of three children are laid out for identification by family members at a makeshift hospital in Aleppo on December 2, 2012. The children were allegedly killed in a mortar shell attack that landed close to a bakery in the city.

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A father reacts after the deaths of two of his children in Aleppo on January 3, 2013.

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Syrians look for survivors amid the rubble of a building targeted by a missile in the al-Mashhad neighborhood of Aleppo on January 7, 2013.

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Rebels launch a missile near the Abu Baker brigade in Al-Bab, Syria, on January 16, 2013.

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An aerial view shows the Zaatari refugee camp near the Jordanian city of Mafraq on July 18, 2013.

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The UN Security Council passes a resolution September 27, 2013, requiring Syria to eliminate its arsenal of chemical weapons. Al-Assad said he would abide by the resolution.

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Residents run from a fire at a gasoline and oil shop in Aleppo’s Bustan Al-Qasr neighborhood on October 20, 2013. Witnesses said the fire was caused by a bullet from a pro-government sniper.

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Syrian children wait as doctors perform medical checkups at a refugee center in Sofia, Bulgaria, on October 26, 2013.

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An injured man is helped following an airstrike in Aleppo’s Maadi neighborhood on December 17, 2013.

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A man holds a baby who was rescued from rubble after an airstrike in Aleppo on February 14, 2014.

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A US ship staff member wears personal protective equipment at a naval airbase in Rota, Spain, on April 10, 2014. A former container vessel was fitted out with at least $10 million of gear to let it take on about 560 metric tons of Syria’s most dangerous chemical agents and sail them out to sea, officials said.

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A Free Syrian Army fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade during heavy clashes in Aleppo on April 27, 2014.

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A giant poster of al-Assad is seen in Damascus on May 31, 2014, ahead of the country’s presidential elections. He received 88.7% of the vote in the country’s first election after the civil war broke out.

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Rebel fighters execute two men on July 25, 2014, in Binnish, Syria. The men were reportedly charged by an Islamic religious court with detonating several car bombs.

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Photographs of victims of the Assad regime are displayed as a Syrian army defector known as “Caesar,” center, appears in disguise to speak before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington. The July 31, 2014, briefing was called “Assad’s Killing Machine Exposed: Implications for U.S. Policy.” Caesar, apparently a witness to the regime’s brutality, smuggled more than 50,000 photographs depicting the torture and execution of more than 10,000 dissidents. CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the photos, documents and testimony referenced in the report.

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Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters/Landov

Volunteers remove a dead body from under debris after shelling in Aleppo on August 29, 2014. According to the Syrian Civil Defense, barrel bombs are now the greatest killer of civilians in many parts of Syria. The White Helmets are a humanitarian organization that tries to save lives and offer relief.

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Medics tend to a man’s injuries at a field hospital in Douma after airstrikes on September 20, 2014.

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Rami Zayat/Reuters/Landov

A long-exposure photograph shows a rocket being launched in Aleppo on October 5, 2014.

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Rebel fighters dig caves in the mountains for bomb shelters in the northern countryside of Hama on March 9, 2015.

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Nusra Front fighters inspect a helicopter belonging to pro-government forces after it crashed in the rebel-held Idlib countryside on March 22, 2015.

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A Syrian child fleeing the war gets lifted over fences to enter Turkish territory illegally near a border crossing at Akcakale, Turkey, on June 14, 2015.

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A refugee carries mattresses as he re-enters Syria from Turkey on June 22, 2015, after Kurdish People’s Protection Units regained control of the area around Tal Abyad, Syria, from ISIS.

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A sandstorm blows over damaged buildings in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of Damascus, on September 7, 2015.

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Members of a Syrian opposition group attack the headquarters of al-Assad regime forces in the Aleppo villages of Nubul and al-Zahraa on February 12, 2016.

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Mahmud Rslan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

This still image, taken from a video posted by the Aleppo Media Center, shows a young boy in an ambulance after an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria, on August 17, 2016. It took nearly an hour to dig the boy, identified as Omran Daqneesh, out from the rubble, an activist told CNN. The airstrike destroyed his home, where he lived with his parents and two siblings. Director of the Aleppo Media Center Yousef Saddiq said Omran’s 10-year-old brother, Ali, died from his injuries.

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Syrian men carrying babies make their way through the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held Salihin neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo, on September 11, 2016.

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Smoke rises after an airstrike in Aleppo on October 4, 2016.

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Arabic writing that reads “some day we will return” is seen on a bus window as civilians evacuate Aleppo on December 15, 2016. The evacuations began under a new ceasefire between rebels and pro-government forces.

suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017. Dozens of people were killed, according to multiple activist groups. The United States responded a few days later by launching between 50-60 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government airbase. US officials said the base was home to warplanes that carried out the chemical attack. Syria has repeatedly denied it had anything to do with the attack.” class=”gallery-image__dam-img”/>

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Idlib Media Center

This photo, provided by the activist Idlib Media Center, shows dead children after a suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017. Dozens of people were killed, according to multiple activist groups. The United States responded a few days later by launching between 50-60 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government airbase. US officials said the base was home to warplanes that carried out the chemical attack. Syria has repeatedly denied it had anything to do with the attack.

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Members of the UN Security Council raise their hands on April 12, 2017, as they vote in favor of a draft resolution that condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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Residents of the war-torn city of Douma break their Ramadan fast on June 18, 2017.

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A member of the Syrian pro-regime forces fires a machine gun as a comrade holds his feeding ammunition belt on November 11, 2017. It was during an advance toward rebel-held positions west of Aleppo.

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Mohammed Badra/EPA-EFE

A child receives medical treatment after a village was attacked in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region on February 25, 2018. Several people were treated for exposure to chlorine gas, opposition groups said, as airstrikes and artillery fire from the regime continued. CNN was unable to independently verify claims that chlorine was used as a weapon.

According to activist groups, helicopters dropped barrel bombs filled with toxic gas on Douma, which has been the focus of a renewed government offensive that launched in mid-February. The Syrian government and its key ally, Russia, vehemently denied involvement and accused rebel groups of fabricating the attack to hinder the army’s advances and provoke international military intervention.” class=”gallery-image__dam-img”/>

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Emad Aldin/EPA-EFE

Bodies lie on the ground in the rebel-held city of Douma, Syria, on April 8, 2018. According to activist groups, helicopters dropped barrel bombs filled with toxic gas on Douma, which has been the focus of a renewed government offensive that launched in mid-February. The Syrian government and its key ally, Russia, vehemently denied involvement and accused rebel groups of fabricating the attack to hinder the army’s advances and provoke international military intervention.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Hassan Ammar/AP

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire as the US and its allies launch an attack on Syria’s capital early on April 14, 2018. US President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Trump says the strikes are part of a sustained military response, in coordination with France and the United Kingdom.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

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Women and children who fled the Islamic State group’s embattled holdout of Baghouz wait in the back of a truck in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on February 14, 2019.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the “White Helmets,” search the rubble of a collapsed building following an explosion in the town of Jisr al-Shughur on April 24, 2019.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters take part in a battle in Syria’s northeastern town of Ras al-Ain as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria on October 14, 2019.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

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A member of the Syrian Violet Organization carries an injured boy at a makeshift hospital following a regime air strike on a vegetable market in Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib on January 15, 2020.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Aaref Watad/AFP/Getty Images

A Syrian man mourns the death of family members next to the rubble of his house following a reported airstrike on the village of Kafr Nuran, in the northern province of Aleppo, on January 21, 2020.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

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A displaced boy carries a bag of bread as people queue for food distributed by a nonprofit in Idlib on February 19, 2020.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Bakr Alkasem/AFP/Getty Images

Members of Syrian Civil Defence and Turkish-backed Syrian forces search for victims in the aftermath of a car bomb explosion near a security checkpoint in the town of Azaz on March 19, 2020.

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

Health workers carry the body of a 62-year-old displaced Syrian man who died of Covid-19, to be buried in the town of Salqin, in Idlib province, on September 17, 2020.

10 years since the nationwide anti-government protests that sparked the country’s devastating civil war.” class=”gallery-image__dam-img”/>

Photos: In photos: Syria’s civil war

Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

An aerial picture shows Syrians waving the national flag during a gathering in the rebel-held city of Idlib on March 15, 2021, as they mark 10 years since the nationwide anti-government protests that sparked the country’s devastating civil war.