No safe haven - A country on the move, a nation on the brink

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IDMC’s monitoring suggests that over one in every fifteen Syrians has been internally displaced following the 17 month conflict that has started as a popular uprising and has turned into a full blown civil war. The magnitude of this displacement means that it has now become intricately linked with the spreading of the conflict. The latest figure issued by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) of 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) was released as the battle of Aleppo was unfolding and just before the escalation of the conflict in Damascus. Given the nature of the conflict and the lack of access in Syria, the IDP figures have remained estimates derived from formal registrations and based on both the pattern of the conflict and the displacement trends. In terms of internal displacement, the battle of Homs in March 2012 marked a turning point in both the nature and the scale of displacement. Mapping of internal displacement in Syria captures this mutation and reveals that before this event, displacement was often regarded as collateral damage in a conflict between the government forces and the opposition. Following the battle of Homs the number of IDPs began to rise exponentially, creating its own socio-political dynamic that lead to the spreading of the conflict.