The Syrian Crisis

On May 18, 2017, the Center on National Security convened a conversation on humanitarian, military, and diplomatic obstacles to an enduring peace in Syria. Journalist Courtney Kealy moderated a discussion with CNN Foreign Correspondent Clarissa Ward, and Senior Crisis Advisor to Amnesty International Rawya Rageh.

Clarissa Ward is a multi-award winning senior international correspondent for CNN based in the network's London bureau. For more than a decade Ward has reported from front lines across the world from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen to Georgia -- during the Russian incursion in 2008 -- and Ukraine. This year, Ward received the David Kaplan Award from the Overseas Press Club for her 2016 series, 'Undercover in Syria.' Ward joined CNN in September 2015 from CBS News, where she served as a foreign  correspondent for four years and contributed regularly to '60 Minutes.' Ward's career in journalism started in 2002 as an intern at CNN's Moscow bureau. She has since been based in Baghdad, Beijing, Beirut, Moscow, New York and London. Ward graduated with distinction from Yale University, and in 2013 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Middlebury College in Vermont. 

Rawya Rageh is a Senior Crisis Advisor for Amnesty International, tasked with investigating human rights abuses in crises including Syria. She was recently part of the Amnesty  international team involved in documenting the evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Aleppo. Prior to that, she was a journalist for 15 years covering the Middle East and Africa for the Associated Press and Al Jazeera English. Rageh's work included covering the aftermath of 9/11 in the Middle East, the Iraq War, the conflict in Darfur and the Arab Uprisings and their aftermath.  

Courtney Kealy is a Foreign Affairs analyst and Correspondent for TV and Radio. Most recently, Kealy was a Senior Reporter for Al Jazeera America, focusing on foreign policy stories for Sunday's prime-time segment, "The Week Ahead," which included Syrian peace talks and the arrival of Syrian refugees in the U.S. A former long-time Middle East correspondent, she was based  in Beirut, Jerusalem, and Baghdad. Her coverage included the rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Al Aqsa Intifada, the rise of Hamas, the trial and death of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. Military surge in Iraq and Afghanistan, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and the Arab Spring.