In Syria: Three Years of War

Last weekend marked the third anniversary of Syria's civil war, a conflict that has, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed the lives of more than 146,000 people, at least a third of them civilians. As forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appear to be making slow progress against rebel forces, the humanitarian crisis has grown astronomically -- as many as 2.5 million Syrians have now fled the country. Fractured rebel groups continue to fight each other, as well as Assad's troops, with civilians bearing the brunt of attack and counterattack, their neighborhoods reduced to rubble by mortar shells and barrel bombs. Gathered here are images from Syria over the past few months.
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1. This picture taken the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) shows residents of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, queuing to receive food supplies, in Damascus, Syria, on January 31, 2014. A United Nations official is calling on warring sides in Syria to allow aid workers to resume distribution of food and medicine in a Palestinian district of Damascus. The call comes as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Syrian government to authorize more humanitarian staff to work inside the country, devastated by its 3-year-old conflict.




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2. A Free Syrian Army fighter runs to take cover after launching a mortar towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Jabal al-Akrad area of Syria's northwestern Latakia province, on February 25, 2014.




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3. Damaged buildings line a street in the besieged area of Homs on January 27, 2014. The United States demanded that Syria allow aid into the "starving" city of Homs, as talks aimed at ending three years of civil war took place.




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4. Residents of the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp wait to leave the camp, on the southern edge of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, on February 4, 2014. In one besieged neighborhood after another, weary rebels have turned over their weapons to the Syrian government in exchange for an easing of suffocating blockades that have prevented food, medicine and other staples from reaching civilians trapped inside.




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5. A picture taken on March 15, 2014 shows part of the seven-square-kilometer (2.8-square-mile) Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, near the border with Syria, which provides shelter to around 100,000 Syrian refugees. Syrian refugees in the sprawling desert camp fear that President Bashar al-Assad's likely re-election this year will leave their dream of a return home as distant as ever. Jordan is home to more than 500,000 of Syria's refugees.




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6. A Syrian refugee boy peeks out from a tent at the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, on March 14, 2014.




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7. A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon inside a room in the old city of Aleppo on February 19, 2014.




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8. Rebel fighters hold a position as smoke billows in the background during reported battles against pro-government forces on February 23, 2014, in the Sheikh Najjar district on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.




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9. A deserted and damaged street filled with debris in Homs on March 9, 2014.




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10. Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad approach a hole blown in a wall in the old city of Aleppo on February 11, 2014.




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11. A pro-government fighter flashes the "V-sign" for victory next to comrades in the Syrian town of Yabrud, after they seized full control of a rebel-controlled area in the strategic Qalamun region near the Lebanese border, on March 16, 2014. The town was once home to some 30,000 people, including a Christian minority, and had been a rebel bastion since early in the Syrian uprising that began in March 2011.




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12. Wreckage of a Syrian army helicopter after members of the al-Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly destroyed it, in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, to prevent other opposition groups from taking it. Photographed on March 1, 2014.




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13. Free Syrian Army members lower the body of their fellow fighter, who the FSA say was killed during an explosion inside a tunnel caused by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, during his funeral in Deir al-Zor, on February 20, 2014.




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14. Free Syrian Army fighters Mohamad-Noor (left), 14, and Hadi, 15, show a picture of the body of their 15-year-old friend Khaled, who was killed by sniper fire, at the frontline of Khalidiya neighborhood in Aleppo on March 13, 2014. Noor and Hadi joined the Free Syrian Army 6 months ago along with Khaled. Noor's father died from sniper fire too, and Hadi's father fights with the Free Syrian Army.




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15. Homemade grenades sit on a table on one of the battlefronts in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, on February 22, 2014.




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16. A soldier loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad walks near corpses of dozens of rebel fighters in the area of Oteiba, whom Syrian state media and a monitoring group said were killed on February 26, 2014 in an army ambush at the entrance to an opposition stronghold in the Eastern Ghouta area. The Syrian army also seized the opposition fighters' weapons, the state TV channel said, using the term "terrorists" to refer to what is said were mainly non-Syrian rebels who belonged to Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda-linked group that has joined the armed revolt to topple President Bashar al-Assad.




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17. Khattab al-Halabi, a former tattoo artist who is now a Free Syrian Army fighter, poses with his weapon in at the Karm al-Jabal frontline in Aleppo on February 23, 2014.




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18. Residents try to cross the Assi River from Syria to Turkey, illegally, in Al-Hmazih village, on March 13, 2014.




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19. Two Syrian men who fled from Yabroud, the last rebel stronghold in Syria's mountainous Qalamoun region, set up a tent in Wadi Hmaied between the Lebanese-Syrian border and the town of Arssal, in eastern Lebanon, on February 12, 2014. In Lebanon, preparations were underway to receive more Syrians fleeing the area.




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20. Damaged buildings in the besieged area of Homs on December 24, 2013.




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21. A Free Syrian Army fighter inspects an unexploded shell in Jabal al-Akrad area in Syria's northwestern Latakia province on January 19, 2014.




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22. Eyad, a 12 year-old boy who lost his arm during shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, tries on a prosthetic arm at Duma Charity Foundation for Prosthesis in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus on February 25, 2014. The center produces prostheses from different materials, including remnants of weapons, plastic mannequins and water barrels, and offers the devices to people who have lost their limbs during the war.




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23. Rebel fighters fire a heavy machine gun at the government forces Al-Samman checkpoint on a road leading to Idlib, near the Syrian city of Hama, on February 17, 2014.




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24. In this photo provided by Aleppo Media Center (AMC), an anti-Bashar Assad activist group, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Syrian government forces helicopter drops what activists said are two barrel bombs over an area of Aleppo on February 2, 2014. For nearly two months, the Syrian government has conducted an intense air campaign on opposition-held districts of the northern city of Aleppo.




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25. This photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man, right, running for cover from a Syrian government forces airstrike attack in Aleppo on February 27, 2014.




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26. This picture provided by the anti-government activist group Coordination Committee In Kfar Takharim, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man running as flames rise from buildings which were attacked by a Syrian government forces airstrike in the town of Kfar Takharim in the northwest province of Idlib, on March 1, 2014.




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27. Men carrying children run from a burning building following a barrel bomb attack reportedly dropped by government forces in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 8, 2014.




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28. A Syrian man breathes through an oxygen mask while awaiting rescue, trapped under rubble following an air strike by government forces on the Sahour neighborhood of Aleppo on March 6, 2014.




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29. Men hold up a baby saved from under rubble, who survived what activists say was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus on January 7, 2014. The child, 27-day-old Rateb Malis, was later reunited with his father and sisters.




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30. A Syrian national flag flutters atop of a damaged building in a government-controlled district, as seen from a rebel-held area, in Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal district on March 17, 2014.




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31. Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad flash victory signs after advancing into al-Maasaraniyeh neighborhood in Aleppo on February 10, 2014.




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32. Flames rise from an explosion after opposition fighters hit a government forces tank in Khan Sheikhun, in the south of the Syria's northwestern Idlib province, on February 26, 2014.




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33. People inspect damage at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's district of al-Sukari on March 7, 2014.




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34. A rebel fighter digs a tunnel in the eastern Syrian town of Deir Ezzor on March 13, 2014.




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35. Debris covers a street and flames rise from a building following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces on March 7, 2014 during the Friday prayer in the Sukkari neighborhood of Aleppo.




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36. A man digs graves, preparing for future casualties, in Arbeen, in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, on March 10, 2014.




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37. A Kurdish fighter from the Popular Protection Units carries his son as he walks along a street in Aleppo's Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood on February 18, 2014.