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11 years after the violent suppression of peaceful, popular demonstrations, Syria is still mired in war. More than 14 million civilians need humanitarian assistance; and more than 12 million re displaced, including over 6 million outside the country. The UN reports that at least 350,000 have been killed. Meanwhile, tens of thousands are detained, tortured, missing, or disappeared.

Currently the Syrian government controls most of the lower two-thirds of the country, while the Kurdish-led “Syrian Democratic Forces” control the north east, and armed groups opposing Damascus control the north west.

Many rounds of peace talks have been attempted, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria is working with a committee to draw up a new constitution leading to free and fair elections supervised by the UN. But progress has been elusive.