Meanwhile, his regime is locked in a bloody fight with rebels. More than 100,000 Syrians have died, according to the United Nations.
How does it end for the House of Assad? There are several possibilities.
Bashar al-Assad could fight to the end, lose and be killed. He could eventually flee the country and be given refuge in Iran, Russia or Venezuela.
Or he could prevail. Tabler says if he does, Syria won't look the same.
"I think at the moment, what's likely to happen is that the Assad family will rule over part of Syria for the foreseeable future," says Tabler. "But they're never going to rule over all of geographic Syria again."