High-level sources in the Iraqi "Dawa" party, led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, have conveyed that the Syrian regime began to take " exceptional" security measures around the family of President Bashar al-Assad, and vital security centers in the country amid fears of growing rifts within in the Alawite leadership of the Syrian army. The sources said that Assad's fears were based on two components: The first is the deterioration of the security situation and the development of semi-civil war. This led the senior officers to adopt the view that the fate of the Alawite sect is more important than the fate of Assad himself. They see the Syrian sect as part of the Syrian people, and thus Bashar Assad and his family can go to exile in another country.
The second factor is connected to initial contacts between senior Alawite military officers and Western and some GCC countries, triggering suspicion by President Assad that he might be a target for assassination by one of his inner circle members. These fears led Assad and his advisers to carry out changes in the leadership of the Republican Guard units and the 4th Division led by his brother, Maher al-Assad in order to counter any attempt from within the Alawite sect to rebel against him.
According to the "Dawa" sources, the rifts within the Alawite sect have been growing as Assad fails to resolve the crisis with the opposition for almost a year and a half now. Today, the feeling among some parts of the Alawite sect is the conditions on the ground have grown complex. This led to a growing international support of the military intervention option.
The same sources pointed out that some senior Alawite officers are ready to launch a rebellion to oust Assad just in coordination with all parties and factions of the opposition, the Arab Gulf States, the United States, France, Turkey and Jordan, to ensure healthy cooperation in post-Assad Syria.
The sources close to the Iraqi PM al-Maliki said the option of an Alawite rebellion could be the best way out of the Syrian crisis and will prevent a Syrian civil war.