As air strikes continue to bombard parts of Syria, what will bring an end to the war?

In this week's UpFront, Mehdi Hasan speaks to Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria, about what it will take to bring peace to the country. We also speak to White Helmets spokesman Farouq al-Habib about the award-winning challenges the aid group faces in war-torn Syria.

And in the Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan debunks the myth that Islam and democracy are not compatible.

Has the UN failed in Syria?

Heavy air strikes hit parts of Aleppo on Thursday after the Russian-backed Syrian army announced an offensive to take full control over the largest city in the country.

The announcement came as world leaders failed in their attempt to resurrect a ceasefire, which after a US-led coalition air strike on a Syrian army post seems to have collapsed. A UN aid convoy was also hit shortly after the ceasefire was ended. Washington blames the attack on Russia - a claim Moscow denies.

So with more than 400,000 people killed since the conflict began five years ago and millions having fled, is there any hope for Syria?

In this week's Headliner, we speak to Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria, about his ongoing efforts to find a solution to the war.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is considered the worst humanitarian tragedy since World War II", de Mistura says.

On the complexity of finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict, the special envoy tells Mehdi Hasan, "I've never seen so many players with so many different agendas."

Reality Check: Yes, Islam is compatible with democracy

"Muslims don't like democracy" or "Islam isn't compatible with democracy" - that's what is often spewed by some of Islam's biggest critics. 

But a look at the big picture - a world where much of the Muslim population lives within democratic countries and most Muslims support democracy - proves otherwise.

In this week's Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan debunks the commonly held myth that Islam and democracy are not compatible.

The White Helmets: Risking lives to save fellow Syrians

Syria's White Helmets are often the first to arrive after an attack in Syria. The voluntary aid group, also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, is credited with saving tens of thousands of lives in the face of constant bombardment from all sides of the conflict.

The humanitarian group, which was awarded the Swedish Right Livelihood Award on Thursday and nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, formed in 2013 and now consists of about 3,000 volunteers.

In a special interview, Mehdi Hasan speaks to White Helmets spokesman Farouq al-Habib about the challenges the group faces and accusations the White Helmets are biased towards rebel groups.

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Source: Al Jazeera News