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15 Mar, 2017 09:35

‘Beyond worst nightmares:’ RT correspondent's 5 years of Syrian war

A flak jacket and a helmet have long become a staple in RT’s Lizzie Phelan's wardrobe. She’s been covering the Syrian war for five years. Reporting from Aleppo and Palmyra, she filmed kids injured in daily shelling and civilians forced to flee their homes.

“I first began covering the Syrian conflict in January 2012. Within a few days of landing I learned that not all was as it seemed,” Phelan recalls.

“While mainstream media gave endless airtime to the anti-government uprising, on the streets of Damascus I found people furious with the coverage.”

TIMELINE: Syrian war: 6 years of bloodshed

In 2015, “the conflict had escalated beyond anyone’s worst nightmares and become the source of the world’s biggest refugee crisis since WWII,” she says.

The Syrian war, which has been going on for almost six years already, is one of the most complicated conflicts for humanitarian organizations, Marianne Gasser, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation to Syria told RT in an exclusive interview.

“The major challenges are today to reach all people in need because in many areas in the country fighting is still ongoing,” Gasser said on Tuesday.

“Aleppo is hosting an estimated number of 400,000 displaced people even from the past, from rural Aleppo, from Idlib, from Homs,” she added.

Virtually no family in Syria was left unaffected by the ongoing bloodshed. There are now nearly 6 million Syrian children suffering from the perils of war, including hundreds who were killed, maimed or recruited to fight in 2016, the worst year on record for Syrian children, a UN watchdog said on Monday.

READ MORE: Syrian families separated by militants share stories of captivity & reunion (VIDEO)

Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city before the war, was divided into government-held and rebel-held parts in 2012. Constant hostilities in the city resulted in widespread destruction and numerous civilian casualties. In June 2016, government forces launched an offensive on eastern Aleppo, encircling the area under militant control. By late December, the last rebel fighters were evacuated under a ceasefire deal jointly reached by Russia, Turkey, and Iran.