Since 2011 at least 100,000 Syrians have been killed, probably closer to 150,000. At least one-third have been non-combatants.
More than 2.5 million Syrians have sought refuge outside Syria. The number of internal displacements is estimated at over 6 million.
The conflict between Sunni and non-Sunni has been amplified and often personalized, each side demonizing the other.
An already volatile region has been further destabilized. Turkey — a NATO ally — Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq have been especially impacted.
Approximately 12 million Syrians who emigrated over the last century, and their first and second generation descendants, view the continuing slaughter with increasing frustration and despair.
The barbarity of the battle — barrel-bombing civilian neighborhoods, mass execution of men, women, and children, starvation used as a military tactic — has inured many participants to brutality.
Just this week a Sydney man killed in January fighting in Syria’s civil war was identified as a former Australian soldier who went absent without leave from the army in 2010.
On Monday a California National Guard enlistee was arrested at the Canadian border. Prosecutors claim he was on his way to fight in Syria. He has also been accused of planning to attack the Los Angeles mass transit system.
British security officials say at least 200 veterans of the civil war in Syria have returned to the United Kingdom.
Osama bin-Laden and many of his peers were, in part, radicalized by the mass murder of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia and Chechnya, horrified by how the world seemed ready to look-on and do nothing.