Syria’s civil war marks 13th anniversary, “world’s worst displacement crisis”

As Syria marks the 13th anniversary of the beginning of its civil war on March 15, one Catholic agency says people “should not forget that Syria is the world’s worst displacement crisis.”

In March 2011, popular discontent with the government of Bashar al-Assad led to large-scale protests and pro-democracy rallies across Syria, echoing the Arab Spring protests taking place in other countries.

Assad ordered a harsh response by the military, causing thousands of deaths and detentions. Soon, a full-scale civil war erupted. Since the war began, around 600,000 people have been killed – over half of them civilians – and 13.5 million have been displaced, half of these are refugees that fled the country.

CAFOD, the international aid agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, says the Syrian people have suffered so much since the beginning of the conflict 13 years ago.

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