As the U.S. considers a military strike in Syria, take a look at some of the key things to know about the conflict and the country.
Protests quickly turned into violence. As anti-government protests spread across Syria that year, calls for reforms quickly escalated into calls for the removal of the entire al-Assad regime. In July 2011, seven Syrian military officers appeared in a YouTube video announcing their defection, calling themselves the "Free Syrian Army" and promising to wage guerrilla war against al-Assad.
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