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

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.