Chaos and Killing in Syria: Photos of a Slow-Motion Civil War

An uprising that began peacefully two years has metastasized into a hideously violent civil war with little end in sight.

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In March 2011, Arab Spring–inspired protests kicked off in the impoverished Syrian agricultural town of Dara‘a. The mini-uprising, defined by its peaceful character, met a brutal response, one that few observers at the time could have anticipated would blow up into a far wider rebellion against President Bashar Assad and the entrenched, decades-long rule of his family. With Syrian authorities clamping down on journalistic access and freedoms, we saw glimpses of the unrest there for months only through grainy YouTube footage—images as uncertain and hard to corroborate as the events on the ground.

But roughly two years of violence has witnessed an all-out civil war, one that has perhaps irredeemably fissured the country along sectarian lines. The estimated death toll, according to the United Nations, is more than 70,000, though others claim it has surpassed 100,000. More than a million have been made refugees. Forces loyal to the Assad regime continue their onslaught on opposition strongholds, making ancient medieval cities like Homs, Hama and Aleppo front-page news. The rebels, a patchwork of defectors, militias and extremist groups, have wrested control of large swathes of territory.

Journalists have stolen across the border with the aid of rebel groups to document the shelling of civilians and the bloody unraveling of the Assad status quo. Some have paid the price for access with their lives.  Diplomatic efforts at the U.N. to curb the killings have stalled amid a mess of geopolitics. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan attempted to make peace in early 2012, but was met with resistance by an unwilling Assad government and a deadlock in the Security Council. Annan resigned on Aug. 2, 2012, and was replaced by Lakhdar Brahimi whose attempt at a ceasefire during the Eid al-Adha failed quickly. A group of 130 international representatives known as the Friends of Syria formally recognized the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” and warned the Assad regime against the use of chemical weapons. Meanwhile, while aid flows in from Gulf states, the rebels clamor for tactical and military support from the West that has yet to come—a consequence, in part, of fears in Western capitals that the anti-Assad forces are too extremist for their liking. The war’s chaos has spread throughout Syria and neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon with no clear end in sight. —Ishaan Tharoor and Tanner Curtis

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126 comments
karawatson
karawatson

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pulpfiction18
pulpfiction18

"The scene of the children lying lifeless on the floor. Just a few hours before,they're having dreams about bread and toys"said Dr Dimashqy

pulpfiction18
pulpfiction18

@TIMEWorld les présidents se servent du peuple comme bouclier humain. Bien à l'abri derrière leur bureau. Ecoeurement total.

HempShare
HempShare

America mirrors the headlines: Living in America is a slow-moving civil war.

HernandoDelaRos
HernandoDelaRos

@TIMEWorld La farsa de los intereses de occidente como pretexto para ejercer la "gendarmería" en el mundo.

obamasuxnblows
obamasuxnblows

This "Freesyrianarmy" are nothing more than terrorists. All you need to know about this you see in photo 62. They shoot upon an unarmed, wearing a tracksuit man. Because they "suspected" he was a Presidential Soldier. Go figure, but the come here, and we are not supposed to "suspect" they are terrorists. 

OzarkGranny
OzarkGranny

Syrian civil war 2 years, 90,000 dead   American civil war: 4 years, 700,000 dead including 1 in 5 southern men.   Syria: Not our problem.  

zzlatz
zzlatz

95% of all photos are of so called "REBELS", aka "freesyrianarmy"

the "rebels" are TERRORISTS, islamic Terrorists. They are not "free" syrian army.

Obama is playing with fire, he is planning to turn Syria into second (or 3rd...) Vietnam

bethmikeon1210
bethmikeon1210

this is the truth. . . .the slow motion civil war has been going from the late seventh and early eighth century by a man and his book called the qur`an, this book has all the instructions for and the rewards for starting and winning a civil war and that killing all of the holy books enemys even other muslims of different sects is encouraged by chapter and verse found in the jihad section and later in the same book under sharia laws. . . .this is only a surprise to the national and world press. . . .oh, if you wish to read the holy book, the qur`an, the accepted translation to english from the original egyption language is suggested,  good luck !

spot60spot
spot60spot

@TIME Why is it so important what its called? It's not the right way to control a country.

DaveJastrow
DaveJastrow

@TIME The photo on today's WSJ of children after alleged poison attack is haunting. How can there not be some intervention?

Saam001
Saam001

@TIME sorry but it's not a civil war, all sign refer to it being a one sided mass termination war. History speaks over all.

ibelababidi
ibelababidi

@TIME it's not a civil war when you have imported jihadists fighting.

MuhammadAd
MuhammadAd

O people, fear of God. Which direction and for what you're so brutal? These are humen? Unbelievable.

larude17
larude17

There is a New Message from God in the world that speaks of all religions needing to grow up and unite.  There are Great Changes coming to the world that will take humanity by surprise, which will only lead to more civil wars like the one happening in Syria.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

The good souls of the American People act as if all the evils come from anywhere in the world but not from the peace loving Christians.  Crimes have been committed during the history of the USA in mass scale. I don't wish any harm to the American People but if they just conceive for a moment, just a trifle moment, what would be the reaction of the American Government if suddenly the Tea Party people, together with the  NRA people, judge that the Obama Government is a tyranny as they have  proclaimed several times, and rise in arms against the Government adducing that Obama has trampled the Constitution, what would you think would be the reaction of the Government? A peaceful one? History confirms the contrary.  Remember the reaction of the Government through its National Guard against the university students protesting against the Vietnam War? What difference would be comparing this to the Syrian government? Just think for a moment an answer yourself.

azmalhome
azmalhome

The violence is a biggest  sin in Islam religion.

http://azmalhome.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/violence-is-a-biggest-sin-in-islam-religion/

Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:27    Who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers.

Don’t do such thing, that’s harmful for you and others. It’s a biggest important story in Islam religion. But most of people know that, it’s truth to everybody that, A violence fetch a lot of trouble in our peaceful social.it never feel  who involve  to do the violence .because ghost(Satan) enter in them vein…

Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:7     Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.

Surat An-Nisā’ (The Women) 4:59     O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.

Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:169  He only orders you to evil and immorality and to say about Allah what you do not know.

Islam me 


rsistons
rsistons

@EEhrmann @Squirelito Oui mais être vrai journaliste, informer, dire vérité = guerre coloniale contre pays souverain en armant extrémistes

Candid
Candid

It is very sad. All the civil wars are so derisory and allways the more painful as they push immediate neighbours who were friends to kill one another.

Marcelo
Marcelo

but a prophecy, this has to happen, I want and hope. A sign of the end times. No way out. without politcs of the thru and without of love from people. Jesus coming back.

azmalhome
azmalhome

the world's top power leaders like to see a violence in a peace region all the time. because this is a good clue for them politics

Some of Muslim countries are going to co-operate something for Palestine. The United States of America also is co-operating Israel with all the way. And Saudi Arabia is best friend for United States of America. Its means that they like to watching a live broadcasting bloodshed war again and again. 

Islamic Terrorism

http://azmalhome.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/islamic-terrorism/

violence is biggest sin in islam religion.

http://azmalhome.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/violence-is-a-biggest-sin-in-islam-religion/

S.Ismail
S.Ismail

It is quite apparent that people outside of Syria, watching or reading Western media do not understand the truth of what is happening in Syria. If you really are interested then you need to open your eyes and look at little bit extra. Muslim extremism is spreading and it will be a catastrophe as time goes by. They are growing exponentially in numbers  Their is a difference between negotiating peacefully regarding your rights and democracy and enforcing your beliefs on others. If the extremists take power in Syria will the Syrian people have democracy?? Unfortunately those that are opposing the Syrian government, that is the ones that are fighting the Syrian government, with weapons, are Muslim Fundamentalists of the extreme level, they are not a democratic people that you can sit down and negotiate with. The US led their war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq for the death of 3000 or more people in the Twin Tower bombings, Britain and France and other European countries experienced similar attacks. Syria is fighting the same war. Whilst Syria needs a change, it will not be a change for the good with the Muslim Fundamentalists taking power. 

AmyCushing
AmyCushing

the solution is for everyone to sit down and talk right away without any precondition. stop saying that you are the only correct one. whoever put any precondition are the people who want the fight.

AmyCushing
AmyCushing

It's pretty lucky for the world that it is not starting the third world war. It could. That is how stupid we human beings are.

Yepi
Yepi

I don't understand why they maintain this war for too long...It's unnecessary and meanless

sampa1961atyahoo
sampa1961atyahoo

@azmalhomeQuran 8:12 “ I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

@azmalhome Tell me peaceful Islamist, what is the punishment for a person who renounces Islamism? Be honest and tell us. Are the cutthroats and human eaters terrorists fighting Assad, Islamists, yes or not?

larude17
larude17

@Marcelo Mashall Vian Summers predicted this war through a Revelation he received in 2009.  Check out the New Message from God, it speaks on the current and future events coming to our world.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

@Yepi Tell that to your government that is arming these cutthroats and human eaters. Your government just want regime change and nothing else, as in Libya. The problem for your government was that the CIA told them that Assad was not going to last to long. Remember Iraq?  Lies, lies, you believe every lie your government tells you. Besides, the majority of the opinions against the involvement of the USA in the Middle East don't count when an enemy of the Zionists in Israel and the Zionists in your congress is a threat to their hegemony.

awesome-o
awesome-o

@Infii @TIME @TIMEWorld  yes bcuz Syrian lands are occupied by Israel 
and there r  lot of Security Council resolutions and un 
resolutions  Indicate that (jolan ) is a syrian land and we have the right to get it back

AhmadMoukachar
AhmadMoukachar

@RamonRoman @azmalhomeA man who kills civilians and innocent people in the name of Allah, or god, is not a Muslim. A man who cuts out a mans heart and eats it is not a Muslim. Fighting for justice in the name of god does not give anyone the right to kill innocent people. But in Islam we are taught to fight injustice and defend our religion and rights. We must fight the ones who oppress and not kidnap and randomly go on a killing spree. Seeing extremists act like cannibals and killing hundreds of people does not define a religion, but defines human stupidity. Islam is a religion of peace when interpreted in the right way. Many tyrants and criminals act in the name of a certain religion to justify their acts, and we should not judge the religion itself, but the way these people think. So no, the cutthroats and human eater terrorists fighting Assad are not Islamist, but extremists. On the other hand, the Muslims fighting Assad to protect their land and rights and don't lose sight of their objectives by torturing civilians and randomly killing people, are brave people regardless of their religion whether they are Muslim or Christians or whatever.    

Marcelo
Marcelo

Marcelo from Brasil. Thanks for you. I believe in Jesus and  his word. Wait for mercy.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

@AhmadMoukachar @RamonRoman @azmalhome : Ahmad, Just name one country, just one country where your depiction of Islam is being fulfilled. Saudi Arabia? Indonesia? Where, where oh where? Religions, all religions are the walls that block the advance of the human knowledge to try to solve, not all for the moment, but many mysteries that have encountered the human race in its evolution. One of its evolution, socially,is the regime of the DICTATOR ASSAD, where most of the religions worship in peace. But, no , this is bane for the Islamists. Their religion is the true one, where women are worth less than a domestic dog and humans are slaves of what is written in the famous book, as in the famous bible. Your religion is so PEACEFUL, that if somebody, anybody, renounces it, is put to death. That's what you want for the Middle East? That's what you want for the world? KEEP YOUR RELIGION, ANY RELIGION, TO YOURSELVES AND LET THE REST OF THE THINKING HUMAN BEINGS GOING FORWARD FINDING THE MYSTERIES OF THIS WONDERFUL UNIVERSE. With all due respect, ramon.