Inside Story

Is political transition a reality in Syria?

Talk of a political solution in war-torn Syria has resurfaced at the same time as the US missile strikes.

US President Donald Trump has been both congratulated and condemned for ordering missile strikes on a Syrian airbase suspected of using chemical weapons.

The attack was seen by some as a warning to the regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad that the period of impunity is over and he will be punished.

But the past six years have shown that military action has failed to stop the mass killings and end the war.

France and Germany have renewed calls for a political solution. But what kind of roadmap will be accepted by the main players in the conflict?

Last year the opposition rejected a United Nations proposal that had Assad remaining in the political system.

Last month negotiators at a fifth round of peace talks brokered by the UN in Geneva called for a political transition, a new constitution and elections within 18 months.

But can a compromise be reached? And what is the realistic way to proceed?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Hadi al-Bahra – member of the Syrian opposition, former president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces

Rami Khouri – senior fellow and professor at the American University of Beirut

Alexey Khlebnikov – Middle East expert at the Russian International Affairs Council