Syria’s civil war: key facts, important players
What’s at stake in an increasingly bloody and dangerous conflict
Last Updated: April 3, 2014
Syria's turmoil began with protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in March 2011. It crossed an important threshold a year and a half later, when the i]nternational Red Cross formally declared it a civil war. The international community has also stepped in after accusations of chemical weapons use.
The human cost climbs as the fighting rages. The death toll now exceeds 100,000 and millions have fled their homes, seeking sanctuary either in neighbouring countries or elsewhere in their troubled country. See how the conflict has escalated and learn more about the key participants. > More: Before and after photos of destruction
International refugee crisis
Note: Figures current as of April 2. There are also 19,697 Syrian refugees in North Africa.
Human toll of the conflict
100,000+ have been killed
This is a United Nations estimate as of July 2013. The UN has stopped updating its death toll because it says it can no longer verify the information. Activist groups estimate the toll at more than 150,000.
2 million+ have fled Syria
2.4 million refugees who have registered — and tens of thousands more are waiting to register — with the office of the UN High Commissoner on Refugees. The actual number is feared to be much higher.
3/4 of refugees are women and children
Almost half of the refugees are girls and women, while another quarter are boys under 18.
Another 4 million+ are displaced inside Syria
Aid agencies continue to increase their estimates of internally displaced people.
Photo: A rebel fighter gestures as he runs across a street in the Mleha suburb of Damascus on April 2, 2014. (Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)
Important players in the conflict
Timeline: Stalled negotiations
Key facts about Syria
22,457,336 (July 2013 estimate)
74% Sunni Muslim, 16% other Muslim (includes Alawite and Druze), 10% Christian
22.7 median age. One-third of the population is under 15, while 3.9% is over 65.
Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians and other 9.7%
Photo: A man wears face paint and carries the Syrian flag in 2011. (Mohammad Hannon/AP)
Sources: CBC stories, Associated Press and Reuters reports, UN Refugee Agency