"Syria’s future largely depends on the Alawites’ fate. To cast them aside or marginalise them would plant the seeds of the next conflagration. It also would exacerbate fears among other minorities who, having incurred persecution, like the Kurds and the Druze, or feeling insecure, like the Christians and Ismailis, would wonder whether they were next in line. If Alawites cannot find their rightful place in it, Syria will face the likely prospect of instability, civil strife and fragmentation."
-Syria’s Mutating Conflict, a recent report from Crisis Group.