Content from the Brookings Doha Center is now archived. In September 2021, after 14 years of impactful partnership, Brookings and the Brookings Doha Center announced that they were ending their affiliation. The Brookings Doha Center is now the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a separate public policy institution based in Qatar.
Brookings Doha Center Director Salman Shaikh spoke to Foreign Policy at Brookings on July 19 and described the rapidly deteriorating situation in Damascus. His comments follow the July 18 bombing that resulted in the deaths of Syria’s defense minister and deputy defense minister and Russia and China’s veto of the U.S.-backed U.N. resolution calling for further sanctions. The failure of the U.N. resolution made it unclear what would happen after the current mandate expires on July 20. (The U.N. Security Council has since approved a 30-day monitoring extension.) Shaikh further spoke about the international community’s responsibility in addressing these developments and the opposition’s readiness to take control if and when the Assad regime loses power.