The Alawis Will Determine Bashar's Fate

(Foreign Policy) Dov Zackheim - Gaddafi's imminent fall has no doubt encouraged the Syrian opposition to continue its nationwide protests. It is unlikely to sway Assad to make any real concessions to the protesters. He may not succeed, however, not because of the growing strength of the opposition, but rather because his Alawi supporters may turn on him. The Alawis know that they can expect no mercy from the majority Sunni population if the Assad regime falls. They are doubly hated, because of their heretical religion, and their abuse of power. They also know time is running out for them. Their only hope is to remove Bashar and his entire leadership team and replace them with a seemingly more civilized Alawi face. Whatever happens, Iran is likely to be the big loser, and with it Hizbullah as well. That would certainly be the case if the Sunnis took power in Damascus.

2011-08-29 00:00:00

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