Civilians in many parts of Syria live under the constant fear of sniper fire. Children play on the streets behind makeshift barricades to protect them from snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

The ancient city of Aleppo has become a battleground, with government snipers occupying the historic Citadel. Many residents are trapped in their homes, caught in the cross-fire. The Free Syrian Army have put up signs warning people to walk on a certain side of the street to avoid snipers' line of fire.

syria sniper
Children play behind a bus barricading a street, that serves as protection from snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo's rebel-controlled Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood on January 28, 2015Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters
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Children run across a street to avoid snipers in Deir al-Zor, eastern Syria, on February 16, 2014Khalil Ashawi/Reuters
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Women and children run as they flee shelling and sniper shots in Aleppo on April 27, 2014Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters
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Besieged residents pull a basket filled with food that activists provided to them in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, on September 17, 2013Muzaffar Salman/Reuters
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Residents of Aleppo push a cart carrying a wounded man who was reportedly shot by a sniper loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, on October 4, 2013Ammar Abdullah/Reuters
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A dog investigates the body of Samer El Habet, a mentally ill man who was shot by a sniper when he wandered into the street in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, on April 30, 2014Ammar Al-Bushy/Reuters
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Civilians, with the help of rebel fighters, position buses as barricades to provide protection from snipers in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighbourhood on September 28, 2014Sultan Kitaz/Reuters
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Civilians and Civil Defence members position sanitation pipes as barricades to provide protection from snipers stationed in Aleppo's historic citadel, on October 12, 2014Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters
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Children play in front of barrels and sandbags stacked up to form a makeshift barricade for protection against sniper fire in the East Al-Ansari neighbourhood of Aleppo on September 7, 2014Ammar Abdullah/Reuters
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A reporter runs with a rebel fighter to avoid snipers during a battle against Islamic State fighters in Aleppo's northern countryside on October 10, 2014Jalal Al-Mamo/Reuters

In October 2014 the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) estimated that 5,307 civilians had been killed by government snipers during the conflict. A report issued by the group said: "The Assad regime used snipers to target peaceful demonstrators in the early months of the revolution, while they are currently used to target civilians in the FSA-held areas, to impose curfews, and to block specific streets."

"The sniping of civilians is tantamount to summary execution as the regime's snipers stalk the victims, shooting them deliberately without discriminating between a child, a woman or even the elderly," the SNHR report said.

The Free Syrian Army's weapons are no match for the high-performance Russian sniper rifles used by Assad's forces.

syria sniper
A sniper loyal to Syrian President Bashar-Al-Assad is seen in a mirror at a window in old Aleppo, on September 8, 2013Molhem Barakat/Reuters
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A rebel fighter sitting on a stack of chairs aims his weapon through a hole inside a house in the town of Morek in Hama province on July 21, 2014Badi Khlif/Reuters
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A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his weapon towards snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Aleppo district of Salaheddine on September 30, 2013Molhem Barakat/Reuters
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Free Syrian Army fighters rush to help their fellow fighter after he was shot by a sniper loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighbourhood on October 9, 2013Ammar Abdullah/Reuters
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A wounded Syrian rebel helps to evacuate his comrade after the group were hit by sniper fire as they prepared to attack a government-controlled army checkpoint in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus on January 30, 2013Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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Free Syrian Army fighters take cover from snipers by crawling on the ground in Aleppo's Sheikh Saeed neighbourhood on September 21, 2013Molhem Barakat/Reuters
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A Free Syrian Army fighter is silhouetted as he calibrates his rifle in Deir al-Zor on October 14, 2013Khalil Ashawi/Reuters
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An area controlled by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is seen through a sniper's scope held for the photographer by a Free Syrian Army fighter in Aleppo's Al-Ezaa neighbourhood on September 11, 2013Aref Hretani/Reuters