Syria’s brutal war enters 10th year
Beirut: Syria’s brutal conflict entered its 10th year Sunday with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime consolidating its hold over a war-wracked country where foreign powers are flexing their muscle.
When Syrian anti-government demonstrators first took to the streets on March 15, 2011, they could scarcely have imagined their protests would turn into a complex war entangling rebels, militants and outside forces.
At least 384,000 people have since died, including more than 116,000 civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor says.
The war has left cities and villages in ruins, shattered the economy and displaced more than 11 million people internally and abroad, with many seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and Europe.
“We’ve lost everything,” said one of the displaced, Hala Ibrahim, a rights activist from Aleppo who now lives in Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold.
“I left my university, my house which was bombed,” said the woman in her 30s.
“Nine years of revolution illustrate the extent of the suffering we have known, between exile, bombings and deaths.”
Assad, with the military support of Russia, Iran and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, has clawed back control of over 70 percent of the war-torn country.
Neighbouring Turkey, which supports local armed groups, has deployed its troops across the border in Idlib province, now the last rebel bastion and refugee of millions of displaced people. – AFP