07 February 2012
Displaced women and children seek shelter from shelling in a basement in the Baba Amr district of Homs, during a sustained attack by government forces. By March, all civilians and the Free Syrian Army had evacuated Baba Amr.
Ongoing conflict in Syria between troops and militia loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and dissidents of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other rebel groups, led to escalating fatalities and a massive exodus of refugees. Government forces were accused of deliberate mass targeting and indiscriminate use of airpower, particularly in battles for the cities of Homs and Aleppo.
A peace plan drafted by UN envoy Kofi Annan in March failed, and a further UN-brokered ceasefire during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha in October also collapsed. By November, an estimated 2.5 million people had been displaced, with tens of thousands crossing borders into neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. A UN survey at the end of the year held the death toll nationwide to be at least 60,000.