The enduring civil war in Syria has added another devastating outcome to their bag of irreversible destructions. Al-Hamama, a poor hamlet located in a rebel-held zone, is reduced to rubble by the incessant shelling of regime forces.  Villagers rendered homeless are forced to stay in caves where callous winter conditions get to them easily. There are some admirable ones who still persist on in face of the crisis, but often without adequate food, water or access to medical care. Here are some pictures to help us imagine their unimaginably harsh living environment. —Photo by AFP/text by Alisia Pek

Syrian women who are also building a wall with rocks to protect the entrance of a cave that is now their home.
Syrian women who are also building a wall with rocks to protect the entrance of a cave that is now their home.
Syrian children stand at the entrance of a cave in which they refuged in Ain al-Zarka, northeast of Syria. The caves scattered along the sheer cliffs in this picturesque region became makeshift homes for refuges from the incessant regime shelling.
Syrian children stand at the entrance of a cave in which they refuged in Ain al-Zarka, northeast of Syria. The caves scattered along the sheer cliffs in this picturesque region became makeshift homes for refuges from the incessant regime shelling.
A Syrian woman comes out of her makeshift home.
A Syrian woman comes out of her makeshift home.
Syrian children stand inside a cave, now their living area.
Syrian children stand inside a cave, now their living area.
A Syrian family gathers outside a cave.
A Syrian family gathers outside a cave.
A Syrian girl climbs down the dangerous rocks, holding a kettle and cups.
A Syrian girl climbs down the dangerous rocks, holding a kettle and cups.
A Syrian woman Najah Gafari (L), 55, builds a wall with rocks to protect the entrance of a cave she is living with her family.
A Syrian woman Najah Gafari (L), 55, builds a wall with rocks to protect the entrance of a cave she is living with her family.

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