The search for a solution has become more complicated after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant came into the picture, making the U.S. and other world powers focus more on the terrorist group and less on the Assad regime and its crimes against the Syrian people.
More than 39,000 killed in 2014
At least 39,021 people were killed in Syria's civil war in 2014, including 24,430 civilians, according a report by the Syrian Network of Human Rights. The number of civilian casualties included 3,629 children and 3,714 women, the report added.
The group also said that Assad regime forces killed 32,507 people, 8,077 of whom were opposition fighters. The findings blamed the opposition for the deaths of at least 1,257 people, out of which 1,183 were said to be civilians, including 291 children and 242 women.
Nusra Front also killed 124 civilians and 29 opposition fighters, according to the report.
Airstrikes by the U.S.-led international coalition killed 40 civilians, including eight children and six women in Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib provinces.
The number of displaced Syrian refugees increased to 5.8 million, the group said in its latest report. Around 50 percent of recorded refugees are children, 35 percent are women and 15 percent are men.
There are around 1.9 million refugees in Turkey, including 450,000 children and 270,000 women.
ISIL-Kurdish fight in Kobani
After ISIL took over Raqqah as its Syrian stronghold and cut off ties with the Nusra front, it launched attacks in Hasakah, Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa claiming 3,557 lives, out of which 915 were civilians, including 132 children, 79 women, 11 activists, according to the Syrian Network of Human Rights 2014 report.
In September, ISIL launched attacks against the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.
The clashes, which were near the Turkish border, created a large number of refugees. At least 190,000 Syrian Kurds fled to Turkey in the days following the conflict, according to Turkish officials.
Turkey later allowed Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces to pass through its land to reinforce the Syrian Kurdish fighters in Kobani.
Bashar al-Assad runs for third term
Despite the ongoing conflict between the Assad regime and opposition forces, Bashar al-Assad decided to run for a third term as president.
The elections were described by the U.S. and many Western countries as a “parody of democracy."
Analysts say Assad has no intention of relinquishing power any time soon.
"The state is like a ship; and when there is a storm, the captain doesn't run away and leave his ship to sink," Assad told Paris Match news magazine in November. "If passengers on that ship decided to leave, the captain should be the last one to leave, not the first."