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It has been 11 years since civil war erupted in Syria

IDLIB, SYRIA - MARCH 18: Syrians stage a demonstration against Bashar al-Assad regime as the Syrian civil war entered its 11th year in Idlib, Syria on March 18, 2021. Demonstrators carried banners reading " Revolution Is Not Over", "Victory Is Soon". ( Muhammed Said - Anadolu Agency )
A protest against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Idlib, Syria on 18 March 2021 [Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency]

Eleven years have passed since the 15 March popular uprising in 2011, when a group of primary school students in Syria's southern city of Daraa wrote "Next it's your turn, doctor!" on their school building wall, referring to President Bashar Al-Assad, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Assad regime, which declared the civilians who wanted a change of power through peaceful demonstrations as "terrorists," mobilised its soldiers and security forces to suppress the protests.

This move of the regime led to peaceful public demonstrations turning into a civil war. Armed clashes began in 2012 between the Assad regime forces and the military opposition groups gathered under the name of the Free Syrian Army.

READ: Snowfall increases struggles of refugees in northern Syria

With Russia's participation in the war in September 2015, the course of the civil war turned in favour of the regime that regained control of most of the lands through intense attacks and blockades.

On 23 – 24 January, 2017, the first Astana meeting was held under the initiation of Russia and Turkiye. Three years later, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed on a cease-fire in Idlib, with Turkiye and Russia as guarantor countries observing the cease-fire for all military actions.

On 26 May, 2021, it was claimed that Assad received 95.1 per cent of the votes in the election, where more than half of the people did not participate.

In February, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi, the ringleader of the Daesh terror group, was killed by US forces.

The regime carried out 217 chemical weapons attacks on civilians. Some 6.6 million Syrians had to leave their country and more than 3.5 million of these people took refuge in Turkiye.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 6.7 million people have been internally displaced, while at least 14 million civilians in Syria in need of humanitarian assistance.

READ: UN Chief calls for political solution to 11-year-long Syrian civil war

A UN statement on 24 September, 2021 said the number of confirmed deaths in the Syrian civil war is around 350,000, while the actual figure is estimated to be much higher.

The Assad regime tortured at least 14,449 people to death. According to opposition sources, the regime forces are still detaining about 400,000 people.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).

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