For near 50 years the people of Syria have lived under brutal military rule. For 40 of those years, the al-Assad family has made the nation their personal fiefdom. The family has used their power to supress any dissent, torture political prisoners and crush brutally any attempt of the people to seek freedom.
In 1982, the dictatorship crushed a rebellion against its rule in the city Hama. They, without a thought, killed well over 15,000 of the city residents in order to regain control of the city. Today, at least 5,000 and most likely more, have died in the Arab Spring uprising in Syria. Right now a major battle is taking place in the city of Homs and hundreds have been killed by the bombing of the city and indiscriminate fire on civilians by the army.
Boston.com's Big Picture has been able to obtain some photographs from brave photojournalists in the war zone. Please see all two dozens photographs on the site and the all important photographer credits.