Depiction of the utter futility of a sectarian & religious civil war spanning back centuries. Humanity lost - again.
Hatred between Syria's religious groups, pitching the Sunni Muslim majority against the president's Shia Alawite sect.
Such divisions have led both sides to commit atrocities, torn communities apart and dimmed hopes of peace, with over 550,000 dead or missing.
In addition jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda have flourished.
Syria's Kurds, who want the right of self-government but have not fought Mr Assad's forces, have added another dimension to the conflict.