The rebel held Qaboun neighborhood of Damascus
A general view shows damaged buildings as seen from the rebel held Qaboun neighborhood of DamascusReuters

Five years ago on 15 March 2011 protests erupted in Syria demanding the toppling of the Assad regime which had ruled over the country for 40 years. The crackdown on the revolution occurred in Deraa on 6 March 2011 but 15 March marks the day protesters from Aleppo and Damascus took to the streets in major protests.

Since 2011 the war in Syria has become a humanitarian calamity producing shock waves around the world. The fog of war and the scale of the crisis is such that its true cost is not known. Even the counting of the dead has become an estimate.

The war in Syria in numbers:

Number of dead: 250,000 – 470,000*

Number of displaced: 11.3 million (6.5 million in Syria and 4.8 million outside), UNHCR

Number of refugees in neighbouring countries -

Turkey: 2,715,789

Lebanon: 1,067,785

Jordan: 639,704

Iraq: 246,051

Egypt: 118,512

Economic damage: $275 billion, World Vision

Number of children out of school: 3 million, UNICEF

Children born in conflict: 3.7 million, UNICEF

Damage to cities (Aleppo, Daraa, Hama, Homs, Idlib, and Latakia): $3.6 billion to $4.5 billion, World Bank 2014

* According to the UN over 250,000 people have been killed and well over a million wounded .A report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, an independent think tank, said 470,000 deaths