Syrians mark the fifth anniversary of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Since March 2011 a quarter of a million have died in the conflict. Six and half million have been displaced. As the war drags on, DW looks back at how it started.
The jihadist group had suffered heavy losses in recent months and lost much of its territory in Syria. The Russian military said "not a single village" remains in IS control.
Syria's White Helmets are sounding the alarm. In light of ongoing UN-led peace talks, the civil protection organization is calling for increased civilian safeguards and more international pressure on the Assad regime.
Russia's military plans to reduce its involvement in Syria this year as it nears the completion of its goals there, chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov has said. Two Russian bases are to remain.
Syria began its descent into civil war in early 2011, when government security forces shot and killed protesters. But if President Bashar al-Assad thought a show of force would end the protests, he was wrong.
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