An RTÉ News Special Report

Seven-Year War

Syria has been engulfed in bloody conflict for seven long years. With peace talks derailed, and ceasefires violated, the outlook is as grim as ever.

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 siege. 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 four weeks from mid-February in Ghouta, 1,100 civilians were killed - thought to include hundreds of children; 4,000 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 US strikes Damascus.

Beheadings Threatened

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

Chemical Weapons

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

No End in Sight

Russia is currently blocking a UN resolution to allow aid into Ghouta. The UN has warned that the international community's response to the war has put its credibility on the line.

Russia has consistently vetoed UN resolutions on Syria, using its permanent seat on the Security Council to bolster its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It has blocked an investigation into the use of chemical weapons on civilians. 

Far from burning itself out, the conflict is becoming more toxic the longer it continues, with increasing sectarianism, and greater external involvement fuelling the bloodshed. A UN commission of inquiry found that all parties in the conflict have committed war crimes, including murder, rape and torture.