|Note the massacres at Sunni villages right outside the Alawite heartland|
"To better understand Assad’s thinking, it’s important to situate these attacks in the larger context of the regime’s operations and the logic that’s been driving them. Like al-Qubayr, Houla possesses two important characteristics. On the one hand, it is adjacent to Alawite villages, from which the attacks were launched. On the other hand, these villages (and one could add Kfar Zayta to the list) straddle the eastern edge of the traditional region of Alawite concentration, along the north-south meridian that runs from Jisr al-Shughour in the north to Tel Kalakh in the south."As I noted in a previous post, it has been evident for some time that Assad has turned the Syrian conflict into a sectarian war between the Sunni majority and the Alawite minority who hold the levers of power within the regime. While the final outcome of the Syrian civil war (and let's call it what it is, a sectarian Sunni-Alawite civil war in Syria) is uncertain, the Assad regime clearly does not intend to leave the scene even if Damascus falls. Here is the Now Lebanon article.