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Syrians mark 10 years of violence

In this March 12, 2020 photo, women walk in a neighborhood heavily damaged by airstrikes in Idlib, Syria. Associated Press/Photo by Felipe Dana

Syrians mark 10 years of violence

Thousands of Syrians in Idlib, the last opposition-held region, marched through the streets Monday chanting “no retreat, no surrender.” Monday marked 10 years since protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government grew into a full-scale civil war. The decade of violence has killed about 500,000 people and displaced about half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.

How are the civilians faring now? The conflict has left millions of people living amid the rubble and battling hunger. The United Nations estimates more than 80 percent of Syrians live in poverty, while 60 percent are at risk of hunger. Assad will run for a fourth seven-year presidential term this spring. Geir Pedersen, the U.N. special envoy for Syria, said a new approach to international diplomacy that includes other countries involved in the war is crucial to ending the violence. “The key for me is that it is now necessary for all these actors to seriously sit down and develop a Syrian policy based on the understanding that none of them can dictate the outcome on the Syrian conflict,” he said.

Dig deeper: View a photo story by several Syrian photographers who captured the impact of the war on civilians.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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