On a riverbank in war-ravaged Syria's north, felling has reduced what was once a lush forest to dispersed trees and decimated trunks poking out from dry, crumbly soil.

Twelve years of conflict that led to a spike in illegal logging, along with the effects of climate change and other factors, have eroded Syria's greenery.

The dwindling forest on the shores of the Euphrates river "is shrinking every year," said Ahmed al-Sheikh, 40, a supermarket owner in the village of Jaabar, in the Kurdish-held part of Syria's Raqqa province.