The media likes to portray Bashar Al-Assad as some sort of tyrannical maniac hellbent on killing his own people and securing his power. That is simply false. While he may be a dictator and human rights in Syria isn't exactly stellar, to basically compare him to Kim Jong Il or Omar Al Bashir is wrong. Al-Assad kept the country together, prevented it from falling to insurgents and ethnic separatists (e.g. Lebanese Civil War). Syria was essentially one of the few secular Middle Eastern countries. The West and Israel has been trying to place a pro-NATO regime in Syria because Al-Assad was "not play ball" with them.
When the protests began, the protesters and Al-Assad were willing to negotiate and broker a deal. When the West intervened in Libya, and were successful, the protesters became emboldened and demanded more than what Al-Assad should have given them.
In Libya and Egypt, Islamic fundamentalists are trying to take over the countries and turn their respective countries into Iran 2.0. And we all know how that will work out.... If Al-Assad steps down, Syria will succumb to Islamic Fundamentalism and their people will suffer from the tyranny of Islamic clerics.