Please note, head of the White Helmets Raed Saleh has been recognized as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2017. He will no longer be available to join the discussion on Monday due to an associated commitment.


Ending the War on Civilians: A Discussion with Syria’s White Helmets

Jehad Mahameed
Liaison Officer
Syria Civil Defense

Manal Abazeed
Syria Civil Defense

Moderated by
Faysal Itani
Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

The Assad regime continues to bomb civilian areas, causing mass casualties and making normal life impossible in opposition-held Syria. Volunteers with the Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, have saved over eighty thousand lives at enormous risk to themselves. US policy has done little to end the killing in Syria. However, a recent US cruise missile strike on the regime’s Shayrat air base, the first direct US military action against Assad, has reinvigorated the debate over US strategy in Syria. 

Safe zones have repeatedly emerged as a potential and critical component of a strategy to end the conflict. While attention tends to focus on the war on the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) further north, southern Syria—a key area of operations for the White Helmets—is strategically crucial and a strong candidate for such protection. 

Please join us on April 24, 2017 for a discussion on the war on civilians, the use of chemical weapons, and the case for a no-fly zone, with an emphasis on southern Syria, with members of the Syria Civil Defense.

On Twitter? Follow @ACMideast and use #ACSyria

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record.