Seven million Syrians, or one-third of the population, are either displaced within their own country or are refugees abroad, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Of those, two million have fled to neighbouring Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
The biggest burden has fallen on a very weak Lebanese state, where the Syrian war has already provoked considerable internal violence.
Some refugees have gone further afield. According to the UN, 4,600 Syrians have reached the Italian coast with around two-thirds arriving in August alone.
Italian officials said this week they had seized a so called “mother ship” used to traffic illegal migrants across the Mediterranean. 200 Syrians were aboard the vessel.