In 2011, nationwide protests calling for expanded political freedoms and the subsequent military response to these protests sparked the Syrian Civil War, which has dragged on for four and a half years. The conflict, which initially pitted anti-government forces against those loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, has since escalated into a region-wide battlefield ensnaring combatants from across the globe.

The war has taken a cataclysmic toll on the country. In 2014, the World Bank estimated that four in five Syrians were living in poverty, and unemployment has skyrocketed from 15 percent in 2011 to 58 percent at the end of 2014. Furthermore, the United Nations estimates that nearly 4 million refugees have fled the country with another 7.5 million people internally displaced. Worst of all, the U.N. reported this year that at least 220,000 people have perished since the war started. Explore the all-encompassing devastation that the war has wrought in the images below (warning: some images are graphic):

Protests In Homs November 2011
Idlib Protests
Throwing Back Tear Gas
This Is Syria After Nearly 5 Years Of Civil War
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We also recommend that you watch this interview with a female Kurdish soldier on the front lines against ISIS as well as the following VICE News videos on the Syrian Civil War:

Be sure to also see our gallery on the Kurdish women fighting ISIS and Afghanistan in the 1960s before the Taliban. And before you go, like All That Is Interesting on Facebook.

Alec is the founder of the PBH Network and has become lethal at Trivial Pursuit thanks to All That Is Interesting.
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