A protester faces off with riot police near Homs. Image Source: The Atlantic
In January 2012, protesters gathered after Friday prayers in Homs. The signs, taken during the initial days of unrest, read: "Your conscience is on trial" and "To the free world; we are waiting for you as we die." Image Source: The Atlantic
The northwestern city of Idlib was a locus for resistance during the initial civil uprising. Taken in February 2012, protesters burn an image of Bashar al-Assad. Image Source: the Guardian
A demonstrator in Homs throws a canister of tear gas back at government security forces. In December 2011, the Syrian government released the gas against the population. Image Source: The Atlantic
In 2012, protesters in Kfar Nebel voice their displeasure at outside powers--specifically Russia and China--who continue to support President Assad. Image Source: The Atlantic
Executions have become a regular facet of life under ISIS: as of July 2015, 3,027 people have been executed by ISIS.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant--commonly referred to as ISIS or Daesh--has been the most successful among non-state groups at recruiting fighters. Their videos of gruesome executions have been among their most popular tools at attracting new recruits, especially on social media. In this video, a group of supposed spies for the Syrian regime is bound in a cage and slowly lowered into a pool until they drown.
Meanwhile, Kurds have used the Syrian and ISIS conflict as a means to seize territory and gain political support. Here, a Kurdish fighter offers her thoughts on fighting ISIS during a campaign in the northern city of Kobani. The full video of the interview is available below the gallery.
Atrocities and human rights violations have been documented against all sides in the conflict. Above, a man shows scars from torture he reportedly received at a government detention center. Image Source: The Atlantic
Abboud, 12, and his brother Deeb, 14, both joined the Free Syrian Army following the death of their two brothers. Image Source: NBCNews.com
As manpower has steadily decreased over the war's duration, parties on all sides have enlisted soldiers as young as 11. Image Source: NBCNews.com
In March 2012, a father teaches his 11-year-old son how to use a toy rocket launcher. This photograph, taken in Idlib, Syria, would win a Pulitzer Prize. Image Source: BBC News
Rebels in Aleppo play with a bird they recently discovered in an abandoned apartment. A mannequin in the background acts as a decoy for government snipers. Image Source: www.reuters.com
Even among carnage, everyday life still manages to carry on. Here, a fruit vendor offers his goods among the destruction in Aleppo. Image Source: AFP Photo Department on Twitter
To stabilize life in conflict zones, civilians have stacked buses to act as makeshift shields against government snipers. Image Source: Mail Online
On their way to school, young boys pass by buses stacked on top of each other to prevent sniper fire. Image Source: Mail Online
Though tanks are far from ideal in urban combat, the Syrian military has relied heavily on armored vehicles throughout the war. Destroyed tanks are now a regular part of the Syrian landscape.
After years of intense urban warfare, groups have adapted to make use of their surroundings. Travel systems including building-to-building entrances and underground tunnels. These systems are vital as they allow combatants to freely move without making themselves vulnerable in open areas. Image Source: www.reuters.com
Lacking many military supplies at the onset of the civil war, rebel groups were forced to make use of what was available. In 2012, a car in Homs has been converted into an armored vehicle. Image Source: The Atlantic
A combatant uses a slingshot to launch a grenade.
While approximately four million Syrian refugees now live in neighboring countries, over 7.5 million people are estimated to be internally displaced within Syria. Overall, a little over half of the pre-war Syrian population is now considered displaced.
Displaced people have erected makeshift tent villages, as evidenced by this village near the Turkish border. Image Source: The Atlantic
A Syrian girl uses a bucket to retrieve water for her family in a Turkish refugee camp. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees estimates that over one million Syrians now reside within Turkey. Image Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Two girls poke their heads out of their school in a displaced persons camp in Atmeh, Syria. Image Source: The Atlantic
Taken in February 2014, several thousand Syrians wait for food to be distributed by the United Nations in a battered Damascus. Image Source: All That Is Interesting
A family of civilians injured during fighting arrives at an Aleppo hospital. Recent reporting from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that over 60,000 civilians have died so far in the conflict.
A wounded rebel rests in an Aleppo warehouse that has been converted into a field hospital. Image Source: VICE
Free Syrian Army fighters in Aleppo relax below their weapons in 2012. Image Source: The Atlantic
A Free Syrian Army fighter in Mleiha, near Damascus.
In the Kurdish People's Protection Units--commonly known as the YPG--between five and ten thousand women actively serve and have been instrumental in battles against ISIS in northern Syria and Iraq. Image Source: the Guardian
A sniper from an unidentified rebel group looks out of a sniper's nest in Aleppo. Image Source: The Times
In Damascus, necessity proves to be the mother of invention. Image Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/13/middleeast/syria-yarmouk-front-line/
Referred to as the "capital of revolution," Homs has paid a significant toll as a focal point of the war, as evidenced by the photograph above.
In an almost completely leveled village, a single fragment of a building stands adorned with a poster of President Assad.
Abandoned and partially destroyed buildings now make up a significant portion of Homs' cityscape. Image Source: The Atlantic
A police officer rests in badly damaged headquarters in Damascus. Image Source: www.nytimes.com
In the Damascus suburb of Darayya, graffiti on a destroyed building examines how the civil war has evolved over time. Image Source: reddit