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.

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.