As David Cameron declares the UK would support a "safe passage" for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, if it was to stop the the bloodshed in the country, what has history taught us about how a country fares once a dictator has flown the coop.
Not every dictator meets a bloody end, dragged through the streets by a murder-minded mob, like Colonel Gaddafi. Many evil dictators has lived out their old age in relative comfort, from Hawaii, to France to Saudi Arabia - and even in London.
Here are some of the world's most brutal dictators and hated leaders - who live in luxury, or managed to die in their own beds.
Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Ben Ali Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali waves before taking oath as President in 2009 in Tunis. Ben Ali was the first scalp of the Arab Spring - but has fared well, all things considered. He flew to France after he was deposed, where the authorities refused him permission to land and he was forced to divert to Saudi Arabia. He was sentenced to life in jail in his absence.
Pakistan: President Pervez Musharraf
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has been in London since November 2008 in self-imposed exile. But he's not out of the game yet, having launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in June 2010, and has vowed to return to Pakistan to stand for election in 2013.
Zaire: President Mobutu Sese Seko
Mobutu helped himself to around £2.5bn from poverty-stricken Zaire's coffers, forced his subjects to wear "African clothing" and "African names" and bought himself luxurious homes and yachts. His regime collapsed in 1997, after a rebellion in eastern Zaire (now Congo). He fled to Togo then moved on to Morocco, where he died on September 7, 2007, at the age of 66.
Uganda: Idi Amin
Uganda's military leader President Idi Amin Dada, shown here in Kampala murdered around 1.7% of the country’s population during his reign. When Tanzania counter-invaded after a failed invasion by Amin, he fled to Libya, into the welcoming arms of pal Colonel Gaddafi. In 1980 Amin settled in Saudi Arabia. He died of kidney failure in 2003.
Haiti: Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier
Duvalier is shown here as he is greeted by supporters during a visit to his mother's hometown Leogane, Haiti. Duvalier's sudden return to Haiti after exile in France prompted some victims of his regime to hope for a chance for justice, or at least a trial for the former playboy dictator who ruled for 15 years with a fearsome force of thugs and a dank prison that was synonymous for torture.
Ghana President Kwame Nkrumah
In happier timesGhana President Kwame Nkrumah partnered the Queen dancing at the state house in Accra. Known as the "messiah" in government-owned press, Nkrumah was deposed in 1966 and went into exile in Guinea. According to The Week, when he died, <a href="http://www.theweek.co.uk/people-news/6659/exile-gaddafi-how-other-dictators-have-fared#ixzz2BRjpxKV1">he was convinced</a> that foreign agents were out to poison him and died a paranoid man of skin cancer six years into his exile.
Shah of Iran
The Queen again! This time accompanied by the visiting Shah of Persia. Ruling Iran for 26 years, Shah Pahlavi was deeply unpopular. In January1979, Iranian dissidents overthrew the government and declared a new regime, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Shah fled the country, but found it difficult to find hosts, staying for a short time in Egypt, Morocco and the requested asylum in the US, which was denied. He arrived in the Bahamas, objected to by the UK, so he went to Mexico. Eventually, in October 1979, he was allowed into the US, leading to a deadly retaliation in Iran with radical students taking over the US Embassy hostage for 444 days. The Shah left the US for Panama, which threatened to extradite him to Iran. And so he finally ended up back where he began his exile world tour - Egypt.
Philipphines: Ferdinand Marcos
Shown Marcos posing with his wife Imelda, in 1965, in Manila., Marcos was elected three times but also tortured and took $10 billion during his 21 years in power A popular uprising saw him flee to Hawaii in 1986 until his death in 1989. His embalmed body returned to the Philippines in 1993.