Syrian Unrest Sparks Fears of a Deepened Sectarian Split

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Context

The Syrian government recaptured the largely Sunni town of Jisr al-Shoughour this week. It had earlier slipped out of its control while deepening sectarian tensions between the majority Sunni Muslims and minority Alawi faction to which President Bashar Assad belongs. Each side presented a litany of criticism against the other, according to discussions with activists, refugees and residents, suggesting deepening hostilities in a country which faces a real risk of civil war. Syria is home to a volatile mix of Sunnis, Alawis, Kurds, Christians and others, but the Alawi elite possess a disproportionate share of political power.

 

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