It has been an uprising that has so far claimed more than 450 lives. And with Friday billed another day of rage, violence in Syria does not seem to be abating.
Western powers have now convened a special session of the UN's top human rights body on Friday to investigate possible abuses by Bashar al-Assad's forces against anti-government protesters.
There are growing calls to establish a fact-finding mission. And US and European diplomats have asked the UN Human Rights Council to order a probe into recent events.
But will this be enough to deter the crackdown on Syrian protesters? And how?
Inside Story, with presenter Nick Cark, discusses with Yasser Munis, a doctorate candidate at the University of Massachusetts specialising in urban middle eastern populations; Nadim Shehade, a Middle East analyst at Chatham House; and Bassam Haddad, the director of the Middle East studies programme at George Mason University, and the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Friday, April 29, 2011.