The Syrian conflict has lasted nearly five years, killing more than 300,000 people and displacing millions. There are actually two wars going on in Syria. First came the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad, who succeeded his father as authoritarian leader of Syria in 2000. He responded to peaceful Arab Spring protesters in 2011 with a crackdown so brutal that it sparked an armed revolt that still rages. Russia and Iran have been Assad's main allies in the conflict, while Saudi Arabia, other Gulf Arab states and Western powers have supported insurgents fighting to overthrow him.

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. Formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq, Isis is infamous for videotaped beheadings, mass murder and systematic rape of captive women – and now, inspiring or possibly directing attacks in the West. Syria's chaotic war opened the way for Isis (Daesh) to expand across the border in 2013. IS has seized about a third of Syria, and has placed its capital in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. Syrian Kurds are fighting Daesh on the ground and have recaptured wide areas of northern Syria. A US-led coalition is fighting Isis from the air, while the CIA is secretly arming and assisting rebels fighting Assad.

In this gallery IBTimes UK looks back at another bloody year in the Syrian conflict, as it drags on with no end in sight.