A look at Syria's President Assad's inner circle
30 August 2012 Last updated at 16:31 BST
It is increasingly rare for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to appear on television, so the interview he gave on Wednesday to a pro-government television channel based in Damascus is being closely scrutinised.
Mr Assad remained defiant, and dismissed a series of defections from his government as "weak elements".
The BBC's Emily Buchanan has been taking a look at what is left of the president's "inner circle".
Professor Rosemary Hollis, a Middle East expert, said they were probably all watching each other.