An RTÉ News Special Report

Syria's Seven
Year Tragedy

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Dying For Aid

More than 13m Syrians need humanitarian assistance; most of them are children. 6m civilians have been forced out of their homes.

Child Deaths

More and more children are being killed in the Syrian war, with 910 child deaths last year.

Escalating Violence

The increase in violence continues with Idlib and eastern Ghouta under seige. Turkey has attacked the Kurdish enclave of Afrin.

Air Strikes

In eastern Ghouta 420,000 people, half of whom are children, are enduring airstrikes from Russian and Syrian jets.

Ghouta's Anguish

In the 4 weeks from mid-February in Ghouta, 1100 civilians were killed - thought to include hundrds of children; 4000 were injured.

Aid Blocked

The UN is routinely denied permission to deliver aid to children. Humanitarian access was denied 105 times in 2017. Those convoys allowed to enter are often stripped of essential medicines.

Hospitals & Schools Bombed

Médecins Sans Frontières says 15 of the 20 hospitals and clinics it supports in eastern Ghouta have been targetted. UNICEF says that last year there were 175 attacks on health and education centres.

Time to Act?

The US has told the UN that it is "prepared to act if we must". Russia has threatened to retaliate if the U.S. strikes Damascus.

Beheadings Threatened

Syrian Arab militiamen have threatened to massacre Kurds in Afrin unless they convert to the radical Islam.

Chemical Weapons

The UN says Syria has used chemical weapons on its civilians. Last month, the US accused the regime of doing so again.

No End in Sight

Barack Obama sent more troops in, but gave a deadline for their withdrawal, allowing the Taliban to wait for them to leave. There are still more US military forces deployed in the country than in any other active combat zone.

Donald Trump campaigned to bring the troops home and get out of Afghanistan. The US has confirmed it currently has 11,000 troops on the ground - much higher than previously thought. Now he plans to deploy an additional 4,000 - for as long as they are needed - to train local forces. What changed his mind?

President Trump says things look different from the Oval Office. Several key advisers are military men who have long pushed for greater involvement in Afghanistan. They include Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser HR McMaster, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Joe Dunford.

Mr Trump offers no diplomatic vision to garner essential regional support. He criticised Pakistan, angering its ally China.