This question is painful and so very difficult to answer. The human rights violations and loss of life has been brutal to witness. With news that the Prime Minister has left his post, it represents "the highest-profile official to leave the embattled regime of Bashar al- Assad on Monday." I think that Prime Minister's move reflects how the rebel forces are gaining in strength and are not simply "terrorists" as state news media and Assad propaganda depicts them. To this point, consider the words of the recently departed Prime Minister:
I announce today my defection from the killing and terrorist regime and I announce that I have joined the ranks of the freedom and dignity revolution. I announce that I am from today a soldier in this blessed revolution.
Flowery rhetoric aside, the statement shows how the Civil War is beginning to turn in the favor of the rebels. The government is finding its support domestically and internationally eroding. Special Envoy Annan's resignation last Friday does not spell good things for the Assad regime and the disclosure that President Obama authorized covert support for the rebels also reflects how momentum is going against President Assad. This is coupled with how the rebels' artillery and use of weaponry is advancing in terms of complexity. They are not merely throwing stones anymore. They have guns.
I think that all of these elements results in the idea that it is a matter of time before President Assad will abdicate his position, one way or another. It seems that the "Arab Spring" has been a bit delayed in Syria, but the momentum is growing for it to his there, as well. With Assad gone, Syria will become another in a long string of Arab nations' question marks as to how post- revolution governance will mesh with revolutionary action. Such a condition means one has a mystery of how the Syrian crisis will end in the box of an enigma in terms of what comes next.