The Syrian conflict will reach a grim milestone on Sunday, as it will reach the fourth anniversary of the civil war that has devastated the country and has fast become the worst refugee crisis in recent memory.
More than 210,000 people have died in the four-year-long conflict, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ latest estimate. The real death toll is likely even higher, the group says. More than 1.5 million Syrian civilians have been seriously wounded. And more than half of all civilians in the country have been displaced.
Yet a year and a half removed from the Syrian government’s alleged chemical attack against civilians in the suburbs of Damascus in 2013, international focus has shifted away from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and onto the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State. The Assad regime, meanwhile, has stepped up its campaign of “barrel bomb” attacks in heavily populated civilian areas, killing thousands.
Some veterans of the Syrian civil war, like “Tarek” who has now sought refuge in Turkey (in fact, that’s not his real name; we agreed to withhold his identity for the security of his family still inside Syria), wonder why the West is not confronting Assad’s government, too.
“One barrel bomb is more dangerous than all of ISIS,” Tarek says.
Watch Tarek’s story in the video above.
Filmed and Directed by Javier Manzano
Produced by Vytenis Didziulis
Edited by Javier Manzano and Ingrid Rojas
Assistant Editor: Virginia Urreiztieta
Director of Post Production: Marlon Venerio