The Syrian conflict is the deadliest conflict of the 21st century to date. In 2011, protests erupted in Syria after 15 boys were detained and tortured for having written graffiti in support of the Arab Spring. One of the boys, was killed after having been brutally tortured. The Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded to the protests by killing hundreds of demonstrators and imprisoning many more. In July 2011, defectors from the military announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group aiming to overthrow the government, and civil war began.
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