Image credit: CNAS

March 15, 2018

After seven years of war in Syria, is a diplomatic solution still possible?

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Journalist Russell Read

Wednesday marks the seventh anniversary of the ongoing civil war in Syria, and as casualties continue to mount, an end does not appear to be in sight.

The United Nations Security Council's most recent attempt at a ceasefire last month ended in failure. Civilians in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta continue to be massacred, as the Syrian military continues to cut the area off from the rest of the country. More than 1,000 children have been killed or injured in Syria in 2018 so far, according to the UN. Those who are fortunate enough to have survived have grown up knowing nothing but violence. Nearly 3 million Syrian children are estimated to have lived their entire lives in the midst of the war. It is believed between 350,000 and 500,000 people have been killed in total, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Western powers continue to pursue a diplomatic solution, but their efforts have been held up by Russia, a key Syrian ally which holds veto power in the UN Security Council. Russia has frequently used this power to give Syrian President Bashar al-Assad diplomatic cover while his Iranian allies continue to help him retake lost territory. U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has put forward another ceasefire agreement, which she hopes will close the loopholes used by Assad and his Russian allies to continue attacks.

Watch the full interview here.


  • Nicholas Heras

    Former Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a former Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. His work focused on the analysis of complex...