The Syrian conflict has been going on for five years, killing more than 250,000 people and displacing millions. Syria's population is estimated to have shrunk to just 16.6 million over that time, down from a pre-war level of around 22 million.

There are actually two wars going on in Syria. First was the rebellion against President Bashar Assad, who responded to peaceful Arab Spring protesters in March 2011 with a crackdown so brutal that it sparked an armed revolt, which is still raging. Then came an invasion by the Islamic State (also known as Isis or Daesh), which Assad considers one of many "terrorist" groups arrayed against him. IS has seized about a third of Syria, and has placed its capital in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

Regional and global powers have been drawn into the conflict, with Western countries, Arab states and Turkey forming a coalition against Isis while also backing rebels fighting to overthrow Assad. However, Russia and Iran are propping up Assad and are trying to crush his opponents. Four months of Russian air strikes have turned momentum Assad's way. In this gallery, IBTimes UK looks back at five years of conflict in Syria.

A ceasefire deal between forces loyal to the Assad government and rebels working to overthrow it has been brokered by the US and Russia. It is meant to go into effect at midnight local time on 27 February and last six months. However, the Syrian opposition has agreed to a trial of two weeks only to conduct peace talks. According to the agreement, the ceasefire does not apply to fighting against IS or the Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front.