The conflict caused by Syria's heavy-handed government response in March 2011 to people protesting the torture of students has escalated to the brink of civil war. In the last several days, Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution against the Syrian government and its president, Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. then closed the embassy in Damascus amid rising violence. The death toll is difficult to assess, but the UN stopped its count at 5,400. The dual-veto ensures that the violence will worsen with no end in sight.
Left, Rajah Kazah cries in her home on Jan. 28 in the town of Rankous, a restive city near the Lebanese border. The Arab League suspended its monitoring mission in Syria on Saturday after a sharp escalation of violence there, as armed government forces battled opposition fighters across the country.
Escalating Conflict in Syria