Nightly News   |  March 15, 2014

Third Anniversary of Syrian Civil War and No End in Sight

Chemical weapons, civilians seized and starved – the suffering during Syria’s three-year civil war has been traumatic.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> civil war taking a staggering toll, killing more than 140,000 people and driving many from their homes. nbc's bill neely has been in damascus for us and has a report on a war with no end in sight.

>> reporter: when it started with street protests no one believed it would come to this. the deadliest war in the world, no middle east conflict has come close to matching the mass killings. city bombarded, civilians besieged and starved. chemical weapons unleashed. the bomb invented, crude, brutal like this war. the suffering here is deep. for the first time in months gas has arrived in a suburb of homs.

>> you only have to look at the desperation on their faces. the women tell me all their men are either dead or missing. the regime here vows to finish off the rebels. we're ready to go in and clean up, he says, soon. his master, president assad, rallied his people this week but there is a military stalemate. the war here is now entering its fourth year and there are almost no signs of hope. this front line has not moved in two years. the killing across syria is getting worse. and diplomacy is getting nowhere. that frustrates a former u.s. national security adviser who was in homs with the u.n. and said many more than 10,000 children have been killed.

>> the death toll in this conflict is the highest recorded in any conflict in this region. the wounds of this war are growing faster than our capacity to deal with it.

>> reporter: as their fathers fight a new generation is learning lessons. boys play at war everywhere, here, they live it. and they will go on living it in syria for a fourth year. and some of those children have now lived half their lives amid war. you know, the desperately frustrating thing is that no one, not diplomats, not world leaders , not people here can see any obvious way for this