Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives, and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon- and Europe. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da´esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. However, despite the humanitarian and security crisis, progress towards a United Nations (UN) negotiated political settlement of the conflict has been slow, mostly due to disagreement over President Bashar al Assad´s future. The adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on 18 December 2015- offers new hope, but the real test will be in the implementation.