Syria’s people-power uprising has turned into open warfare. After months of trying to crush a largely peaceful Arab Spring movement, and after more than 5,000 deaths, the Syrian regime is now battling an increasingly violent insurgency.
Army defectors join the Free Syrian Army after refusing to fire on civilians who persist in their protests.
Arab League observers have been pulled out, unable to stop the bloodshed, and criticised as providing cover for the regime of President Bashar al Assad.
As the insurgency grows, so does the role of armed Islamic extremists and the threat of a devastating civil war.
At the UN, Russia rejects talk of a Security Council resolution that could impose sanctions and perhaps lead to intervention.
Western countries, who led a much-debated campaign of air-strikes that helped bring down Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, are reluctant to get involved in yet another Arab conflict that could become a quagmire.
Chris Burns talks to Veronique de Keyser, a Belgian MEP, a member of the Socialist party and the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Also on the programme is Rudolph el Kareh, a Lebanese born political science professor and commentator on Arab World affairs.
And joining them is Ammar Waqqaf, a leading voice of the British based Syrian Social Club and also a member of the Ba’ath party. He, and the Club call for reforms, and not for regime change.