Syria is now six years into a civil war that has killed over 400,000 people and displaced close to twelve million more. The con;lict began in 2011 when the new president, Bashar al-Assad, responded harshly to prodemocracy protests and used the military to suppress ongoing demonstrations. The situation evolved into a complex, grueling war in which rebel forces seek Assad’s removal, the Islamic jihadist group Islamic State also ;ights against the Syrian Army in a quest to expand its power in the region, and the government forces attack both of these groups. The reverberations of this war are felt across the globe, as Syrian refugees seek safety and opportunity elsewhere, and government councils and humanitarian groups consider how to respond. But of course, Syria itself has been the hardest hit by the war. Its economy has suffered tremendously, leading to rampant poverty and shortages of basic necessities such as clean water. Syrian youth have missed years-worth of schooling, while some have also faced forced labor and sex trafficking. Medical care is scarce, in part because of the high number of attacks against medical facilities and care providers. Compounding the intense suffering is the fact that humanitarian aid workers simply cannot reach a number of areas because of the warfare. President Assad has been accused of blocking aid to civilians in rebel-held regions of the country. By all measures, Syria remains in crisis.
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