Syria is a mix of ethno-sectarian groups. President Bashar al-Assad and many of his military and government officials are from the Alawite sect. Many Alawites and other minorities fear they face an uncertain fate if the mostly Sunni opposition movement succeeds in toppling Assad. Read related article.

Sources: “The Struggle For Syria in 2011” by Joseph Holliday,; U.S. State Department; CIA; staff reports | The Washington Post February 25, 2012
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