The situation is Syria is massively complex - numerous sides fighting each other for a myriad of different causes with civilians caught helplessly in the middle.
Muddying the situation even further are the international actors intervening all with their own geo-political agendas.
One huge, very visible and very divisive symptom of all this is the current refugee crisis across Europe.
Syrians ride a motorbike past a collapsed building in the town of Talbisseh in the Homs province
And a familiar refrain amongst those opposed to Britain taking in those fleeing is: "Why don't they stay and fight?"
Luckily blogger Emlyn Pearce is on hand with this excellent pub analogy to try and make things more relatable.
Click here to enlarge
Infographic supplied by Statista
The chart above shows the the origin countries of the 19,196 people who claimed asylum in the UK from January to July of 2015.
Two million people are believed to have lost their lives due to civil war and famine in Sudan since 1983. Today, civilians face indiscriminate bombings and targeted attacks by government forces.
Power is solely in the hands of the authoritarian President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Christians in the country are persecuted as exemplified by the case last year of Maryam Yaḥyā Ibrahīm Isḥaq who was sentenced to death for leaving Islam and marrying her Christian husband.Women also face female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), sexual violence, and trafficking.
Forty percent of children from five conflict-scarred Middle Eastern countries are not in school, the U.N. child welfare agency said in a report Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, warning of a lost generation and a dim future for the region. UNICEF said 13.7 million out of 34 million school age children in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not getting an education, almost double the number five years ago.
Pakistan continues to face frequent gun and bomb attacks that have claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people over the last decade as Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked groups hiding in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan battle government and international forces.
Just today (14 Oct) a bomb blast targeting a ruling party lawmaker killed seven people in the centre of the country.
More generally, Pakistanis face extrajudicial and targeted killings, disappearances, and a general lack of rule of law compounded by widespread corruption within the government and armed forces.
Women, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons all face persecution in the majority Shia Muslim theocratic republic. The US State Department lists other human rights concerns including disappearances; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including judicially sanctioned amputation and flogging.
Afghanistan continues to be ravaged by sectarian violence as western-backed government forces fight a 14-year-long Taliban insurgency.
Afghan force were forced to repel the Taliban from Ghazni
, just south of the capital, Kabul, raising fears of a revitalised insurgency in the face of the drawdown of Western forces.
There is endemic discrimination against women and girls. After seizing the northern Afghan city of Kunduz last month, Taliban fighters went door-to-door hunting for women's rights advocates and journalists.
Afghanistan has the twelfth highest infant mortality rate (70 to every 1,000 live births) in the world, some three million drug users, and a literacy rate of 38.2%.