What began with largely peaceful protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011 has developed into a full-scale civil war. Assad's regime is violently crushing any opposition to his family's four-decade-long stranglehold on power. Government forces and rebel groups are engaging in violent battles across the country.
The ongoing conflict has devastated Syria. The United Nations estimates that as many as 100,000 people have died so far in the conflict. Some 7 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance and over 1.9 million refugees have fled the violence to neighboring countries, North Africa and Europe.
Outside of Syria, Russian and US diplomats agreed to a deal that could eventually lead to the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons and averted a military intervention in Syria by the United States. But many questions remain about the deal and whether international leaders will stick to it.
DW looks at the effects of the conflict on Syria and the region.