syria

War without end

The conflict in Syria has become the bloodiest, most complex and most journalistically challenging uprising of the Arab Spring. In Egypt, the revolt was in a city with a large AP and international media presence. In Libya, our journalists were able to deploy throughout the country. But in Syria, most reporters have been banned entry by the government. Crossing illegally into rebel territory is perilous.

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    A Syrian man cries holding the body of his son near Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Suicide bombers detonated cars packed with explosives, killing at least 34 people and injuring more than 120. The father collapsed after leaving the hospital, cradling his dead son for 30 minutes before a taxi took them away. This photo won a first place award in the Pictures of the Year International competition.

    AP Photo / Manu Brabo

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    A wounded woman, still in shock, leaves Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, after artillery shelling by government forces killed several, including children.

    AP Photo / Manu Brabo

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    Syrians burn portraits of President Bashar Assad during a demonstration against his regime in the outskirts of Idlib, northern Syria, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.

    AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd

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    Displaced Syrian children run after a truck loaded with presents for Eid Al-Adha in a refugee camp near Atma, Syria, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012.

    AP Photo / Manu Brabo

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    A man teaches Bilal, 11, how to use a toy rocket-propelled grenade in Idlib, north Syria, Sunday, March 4, 2012.

    AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd

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    Free Syrian Army fighters in a house on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

    AP Photo

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    A rebel sniper aims at a Syrian army position, seen with another rebel fighter reflected in a mirror, in a residential building in the Jedida district of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.

    AP Photo / Narciso Contreras

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    Abdullah Ahmed, 10, who suffered burns in a Syrian government airstrike and fled his home with his family, stands outside their tent at a camp for displaced Syrians in the village of Atmeh, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.

    AP Photo / Muhammed Muheisen

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    Supporters of the Free Syrian Army ride a motorcycle with a rocket-propelled grenade in Kafar Taharim, Syria, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012.

    AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd

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    A woman walks with children in Kafar Taharim, under control of the Free Syrian Army, north Syria, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.

    AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd

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    Aida cries as she recovers from severe injuries after the Syrian Army shelled her house in Idlib, north Syria, Saturday, March 10, 2012. Aida's husband and two of her children were killed.

    AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd

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    A wounded Syrian civilian shot in the stomach tries to escape the line of fire after he was targeted by a Syrian army sniper while walking near the frontline in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012.

    AP Photo / Narciso Contreras

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    A Free Syrian Army soldier, right, looks through a mirror to see Syrian troops from the other side as he takes his position with his comrade during fighting at the old city of Aleppo, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012.

    AP Photo / Hussein Malla

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    A rebel fighter claims victory after he fires a missile toward a building where Syrian troops loyal to President Bashar Assad are hiding while they attempt to gain terrain against the rebels during heavy clashes in the Jedida district of Aleppo, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012.

    AP Photo / Narciso Contreras

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    Night falls on a Syrian rebel-controlled area as destroyed buildings, including Dar El Shifa hospital, are seen on Sa'ar street after airstrikes targeted the area, killing dozens in Aleppo, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

    AP Photo /N arciso Contreras

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    A Syrian man cries in a hallway of the Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria after his daughter was hit during a Syrian Air Force strike over a school where hundreds of refugees had taken shelter, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.

    AP Photo / Manu Brabo

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    A Syrian man wheels a woman severely injured from an artillery shell that landed near a bakery to a hospital for treatment in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012.

    AP Photo / Narciso Contreras

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    A man points a flashlight towards the body of a Syrian man killed by Syrian Army shelling at a graveyard in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012

    AP Photo / Manu Brabo

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    Mahmoud, a 21-year-old Palestinian resident of Syria, rests in a field hospital after he was found with three gunshot wounds in the town of Anadan on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. Mahmoud said he was the only survivor of a massacre in which he and 10 other men were blindfolded, beaten and sprayed with bullets.

    AP Photo / Khalil Hamra

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    Syrian refugees cross from Syria to Turkey by the Orontes River, near the village of Hacipasa, Turkey, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012.

    AP Photo / Manu Brabo

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    Ahmed mourns his father, Abdulaziz Abu Ahmed Khrer, who was killed by a Syrian Army sniper, during his funeral in Idlib, north Syria, Thursday, March 8, 2012.

    AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd

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The photographs

AP photography from Syria has been raw and heart-wrenching, perhaps none more so that Manu Brabo’s photograph of a Syrian man crying inconsolably while holding his dead son’s body. The photo was awarded a first place in the Pictures of the Year International prizes. Brabo, based in Spain, said the father left the hospital with his son’s body then fell to his knees sobbing. He stayed in the street for more than 30 minutes holding his son until a taxi came to take them away.

The video

AP’s video from Syria has led the competition. But the conflict grows ever more dangerous to cover. Last year, cameraman Ahmed Bahaddou was shot in the shoulder as he faced sniper fire and shelling while recording battles between the military and rebels in Idlib.

The journalists

Rodrigo Abd

Among the journalists covering the conflict in Syria is photographer Rodrigo Abd, whose image of a young boy grieving at his father’s funeral captured in a single moment the impact of the violence on the people of Syria—so much so that it made the front page of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Abd has family roots in Syria, which makes his work in the region even more meaningful to him.

Elizabeth Kennedy

Directing coverage from Lebanon, Beirut Bureau Chief Elizabeth Kennedy has guided AP through difficult journalistic territory. Here she describes how she and her team have navigated hype, hoaxes, lies and spin to assure accurate and fair coverage.