When protests broke out in Syria in March of 2011, many hoped it would bring a swift end to the reign of Bashar al-Assad, who was then in his 11th year in power. But unlike previous revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, what followed in Syria was the bloodiest conflict of the Arab Spring, killing more than 40,000 people according to some estimates in a war that rages on today. Despite widespread accusations that his regime has engaged in mass killings of civilians, Assad remains in power, drawing in a number of key figures as a result. Some continue to stand by the regime, while others remain intent on bringing it down. Here are some key figures in the Syria saga.