|Syria could break up and an Alawite state would be formed|
This has sparked increasing speculation among commentators that the Assad clan realizes it may not be able to retain power over the entire country, and has already started implementing its' back-up plan - a mini Alawite state. This Alawite state would be located in the East of Syria, north of Lebanon and hugging the coastline of the Mediterranean
Sea. If you look at the map on the right, the Alawite state would include Syria's two main ports on the Mediterranean, Lattakia and Tartus.
I found a fascinating map below via the BBC on which outlined in black where a lot of violence against civilians perpetrated by the Syrian army and the Assad regime's vicious Shabiba militia, who are entirely Alawite. Notice that much of this violence is taking place right to East of the Alawite heartland. Some have speculated - and I absolutely agree - that there has been a clearly defined effort by the Alawites to ethnically cleanse Sunni villages and towns near the Alawite heartland, to create a buffer zone between the Alawites and the numerically dominant Sunnis in the rest of Syria, who constitute after all 70% of Syria's population. As I have noted in a number of previous posts,including here, we are clearly witnessing an Alawite-Sunni civil war in Syria.