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7 Years of Syrian unrest — by the numbers, and photos that mark the destruction

Click to play video 'On seventh year of Syrian conflict, new humanitarian crisis emerges in Ghouta' On seventh year of Syrian conflict, new humanitarian crisis emerges in Ghouta
WATCH: In the seventh year of the Syrian conflict, a new humanitarian crisis emerges in Ghouta

The images emerging from Syria over the past several years zeroed in on deaths of civilians, and the destruction of once bustling cities.

The country marked seven years of war this week, and the latest news out of the region shows little sign of the violence curbing.

READ MORE: Syrians trapped in Ghouta remind world of their plight

Syria’s conflict has killed about 511,000 people in these seven years, and roughly five million people have fled from the country. The unrest has also disturbed the regional balance of power, and dragged in foreign nations whose rivalry has upset existing alliances.

WATCH: More coverage of the Syrian conflict

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According to the United Nations, an estimated 2.9 million Syrians live in UN-declared hard-to-reach and besieged locations.

But while recent memory of Syria may revolve around news of violence, this wasn’t always the case. The country once thrived culturally and economically.

READ MORE: Starving Syrian newborn offers harrowing look at life in besieged region

Here’s a look at Syria’s past, and how violence has affected it.

A general view of the city of Aleppo before the war.

A view of Aleppo.
A view of Aleppo. Getty Images

Aleppo in 1997.

Aleppo in 1997.
Aleppo in 1997. Getty Images

This is Aleppo in 2018.

In this Jan. 18, 2018 photo, the sun rises over the city of Aleppo, Syria.
In this Jan. 18, 2018 photo, the sun rises over the city of Aleppo, Syria. Hassan Ammar/AP
In this picture taken Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, a resident checks the destruction from his home balcony that was damaged by shelling in Aleppo, Syria.
In this picture taken Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, a resident checks the destruction from his home balcony that was damaged by shelling in Aleppo, Syria. Mstyslav Chernov/AP

Umayyad Mosque, a UNESCO world heritage site

Also known as the Great Mosque of Aleppo, this site was built in the 8th century.

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Umayyad Mosque.
Umayyad Mosque. Getty Images

This is the mosque pictured on Sept. 27, 2014.

Yard of Umayyad Mosque, destroyed after clashes.
Yard of Umayyad Mosque, destroyed after clashes. Kaan Bozdogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

While structures have been destroyed, some of the most harrowing photos out of Syria have been of those trapped in violence-stricken regions.

Here are some recent photos from Ghouta, where airstrikes have killed scores of civilians and forced thousands to flee.

A child sleeps in a bag in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta.
A child sleeps in a bag in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta. Omar Sanadiki/Reuters
A wounded Syrian girl lies on a stretcher.
A wounded Syrian girl lies on a stretcher. Hamza Al-Ajweh/Getty Images
A man walks on the rubble of damaged buildings at the besieged town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.
A man walks on the rubble of damaged buildings at the besieged town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

The United Nations believes up to 400,000 people have been trapped in the Ghouta satellite towns and farmland, short of food and medicine.

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— With files from Reuters