Following a few notes of hope in recent weeks, with some diplomatic progress on the Syria crisis, we had a rude awakening over the weekend. The Assad regime struck a crowded marketplace in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma killing 100 people and wounding scores more. It is one of the most devastating attacks in the more than four years of the conflict. The Douma airstrikes came amid additional bombings around Damascus. The attacks come just as a ceasefire ends between regime and opposition forces in two other frontlines of the conflict. Negotiations may involve some aspect of the current Syrian regime in an effort to avoid a chaotic post-conflict situation. Of course herein lies the problem.  The White House reiterated its position saying the Douma attacks "underscore that the [Assad] regime has lost legitimacy.” Indeed. Looking for a way forward, we will close by highlighting that despite this week's horrific attacks, the United Nations Security Council pushed ahead and supports a new plan for a political resolution led by special envoy Staffan de Mistura.