There is mounting international condemnation of Syria's handling of pro-democracy protests - as more people are killed on streets.
Bashar al Assad's regime insists it is a foreign conspiracy against his country. Others suggest a more sinister third party is involved.
Inside Story discusses with guests: Marwan Kabalan, a professor of political science from Damascus University; Lamis Andoni, a writer and political commentator on Middle East affairs; and Patrick Seale, a leading British writer on the middle east, and author of "Asad of Syria".
This episode of Inside Story aired on Sunday, April 10, 2011.