A military buildup in northern Syria, coupled with heavy fighting and mounting civilian casualties, spells the end of a cease-fire that for two months brought some relief to a war-weary country. The renewed violence is ushering in what could be an even more ruinous chapter in the 5-year-old conflict.
About 200 civilians have been killed in the past week, nearly half of them around Aleppo. There has even been shelling in Damascus, along with a car bomb — both rarities for the capital.
With peace talks in Geneva completely deadlocked, Syrians are regarding the escalating bloodshed with dread, fearing a return to full war and slow destruction.