The Wall Street Journal reports: Ever since the Syrian revolution began in 2011, President Bashar al-Assad tried to cast it as a religious conflict with radical Sunni Islam in which he would wear the mantle of protector of the country’s numerous minorities.
The plan has worked to a great degree, with Mr. Assad’s own Alawite community as well as Shiites, Christians, Druse and, initially, even the Kurds, backing him against a predominantly Sunni rebellion that has become progressively more bloody and sectarian.
But now, as the regime is reeling under attack by the murderous Islamic State militants in the east and a rebel coalition that includes the al Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front in the north, these minorities face the growing danger of being wiped out alongside Mr. Assad.
“As bad as things have been in Syria, they could get a whole lot worse,” warned Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Damascus and dean of the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University. [Continue reading…]