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Syria's New Threat. Syria explained: What you need to know. Violence in the streets of Damascus.

Syria explained: What you need to know

A growing refugee crisis. Calls for outside intervention. Reading the grim headlines out of Syria, it's easy to forget how we even got to this point. Here's a refresher course to get you up to speed. Overview The Syrian regime, led by President Bashar al-Assad, launched a violent crackdown last year on activists demanding more economic prosperity, political freedom and civil liberties. This sparked a nationwide uprising and eventually a civil war with armed rebels, many of whom defected from the military.

Syria profile - Timeline. 18 February 2015Last updated at 05:40 ET A chronology of key events: 1918 October - Arab troops led by Emir Feisal, and supported by British forces, capture Damascus, ending 400 years of Ottoman rule.

Syria profile - Timeline

The Ottoman governor of Syria, Jamal Pasha, rides through Damascus in 1917 1919 - Emir Feisal backs Arab self-rule at the Versailles peace conference, following the defeat of Germany and the Ottoman Empire in World War I. 1919 June - Elections for a Syrian National Congress are held. 1920 March - The National Congress proclaims Emir Feisal king of Syria "in its natural boundaries" from the Taurus mountains in Turkey to the Sinai desert in Egypt. French control 1920 June - San Remo conference splits up Feisal's newly-created Arab kingdom by placing Syria-Lebanon under a French mandate, and Palestine under British control. 1920 July - French forces occupy Damascus, forcing Feisal to flee abroad. Aleppo, along with Damascus, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities Uprising Rise of Assad Riots. CBBC Newsround - What's happening in Syria and will the violence end? The violence in Syria began in March 2011 and the middle eastern country has been crippled by a brutal civil war ever since.

CBBC Newsround - What's happening in Syria and will the violence end?

Since then, the United Nations estimates more than 200,000 people have died in the clashes between President Bashar al-Assad's government and rebel forces who want him out. The UN's Refugee Agency says more than four million people have fled Syria to neighbouring countries, and over half of those are children. Many of the refugees are among the tens of thousands who have been arriving in Europe, trying to reach countries like Britain and Germany. . In July 2012, the International Red Cross said the violence in Syria had become so widespread that it was in a state of civil war. In Syria, war is woven into childhood. The baby-faced boy waited patiently for his turn at the small ice cream shop, his Kalashnikov balanced precariously over his shoulder.

In Syria, war is woven into childhood

The rifle was pointed down and his hand occasionally cupped the muzzle, far from the proper way to carry a gun. He stood just a few inches taller than the wafer cones stacked high on the side of the freezer. When it was finally his turn, he ordered cherry and pistachio ice cream in a waffle cone. His soft, light brown hair was mostly pulled back by a green-and-black kaffiyeh, revealing a pre-pubescent face without even a hint of facial hair. He said he was a fighter with the Suqoor al Sham group, a member of the Islamic Front, and fought on the front lines nearby. He didn't hesitate when asked his birth date. "1989," he said, putting him at the improbable age of 24 or 25. "You made yourself older than me," said a fellow child fighter, who looked several years older but still well shy of his professed age of 19. Syria opens new front in social media war: Instagram. Amid the bloodshed of Syria's civil war, President Bashar Assad has… (Associated Press ) AMMAN, Jordan -- With more than 80 posts and 30,000 followers, Syrian President Bashar Assad's Instagram account, opened just over a week ago, is the latest example of the government's aggressive foray into social media during its more-than two-year war against armed rebels.

Syria opens new front in social media war: Instagram

Pro-rebellion citizen journalists have been a mainstay of the conflict since its beginning, flooding social media networks with videos and photographs that have been viewed, shared and tweeted around the world. Although pro-Assad supporters have also been active, the Syrian government had until recently relied on the official Syrian Arab News Agency for most of its communications with the outside world. Beginning in 2013, however, Syrian authorities wholeheartedly embraced social media, opening accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and, most recently, Instagram. "This is nothing more than a despicable PR stunt," U.S. "Nice teeth.