Syria's dictatorship at first seemed immune to the wave of unrest engulfing the Arab world.
But now the country is in the grip of mass protest and repression. Human rights activists say 1400 people have been killed and 10,000 arrested.
Carrie Gracie spoke to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's cousin, Ribal Al-Assad, who's in exile in London and campaigning for democratic freedoms. But after four decades of dynastic rule, can anyone in the Assad family help Syria find a way out of its crisis or even a regional crisis?
The full interview will be broadcast on BBC World News on Wednesday 22 June 2011 at 0330, 0830, 1530 and 2030 GMT and on BBC News Channel on Wednesday 22 June at 0430 BST and Thursday 23 June at 0030 BST.
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