Syrian war: Six years of bloodshed

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 is the sixth anniversary of the day on which the suppression of pro-democracy protests in Syria triggered what has become a brutal civil war that has devastated much of the country.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The remains of the Al Omari Mosque, site of the first protests, in the southern city of Daraa, Syria, March 13, 2017.

What became the war in Syria entered its seventh year on Wednesday. The trail of death, destruction and displacement has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced millions and created the world's worst refugee crises since WWII.

On March 15 2011, protests erupted in the southern city of Daraa when security forces detained a group of young boys accused of painting anti-government graffiti on walls.

The unexpected ferocity of the wider crackdown on pro-democracy protests by the regime of Bashar al Assad pushed Syria into what has become a civil and sectarian war.

Mostly peaceful protests became an armed struggle in which regime opposition forces have been fighting to end the four-decade rule of the Assad dynasty, YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been extending their territory, and Daesh has been fighting to create what it calls a "caliphate" that straddles northern Syria and northern Iraq.

Assad remains in power and Daesh remains undefeated, even as regional and international peace efforts continue in the Kazakhstan capital Astana, and under a UN banner in Geneva.

TRT World's Abubakr al Shamahi reviews the past six years and some of the atrocities of the conflict.