Well most middle-class Sunnis have been inclined with Bashar al-Assad from the beginning. The Syrian Arab Army compromises of Sunni soldiers and Alawites as well.
The core commanders are Alawites along with the elite and often ruthless special forces called the Sabiha, they are usually Alawites but many happen to be Sunnis as well.
Many high ranking officers are on the front lines with their troops, most are Sunni. The media especially al-Jazerra, al-Arabiyya etc make us believe in a fairytale that only the Alawites are in the army along with a handful of Sunni soldiers.
The point to be noted is that the Alawites only account for 15% of the country's population, and it is impossible for them to hold onto to all of Syria, should they be the sole representatives of the Assad's army.
The media loves to paint this war as: Sunni vs Alawites+Shia, when in reality it is Sunni vs Sunni with some Alawites, and Christian elements from Syria. The financial backers are Iran, Russia on one side and GCC Gulf Arab States, Turkey and the U.S on the other.
The weapon manufactures in Russia and U.S must be real happy, their profits are to be an all-time high due to this war.
If you see General Fahd Jassem al-Freij
is actually the current Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Armed Forces, and yes, he is a Sunni, like some other commanding officers.
Defections did take place, but now defections are a rarity, Sunnis still make a good majority of the Syrian Arab Army.
If what the media says was true, and the Sunnis were openly against al-Assad, he would have had fell down as quickly as Ghaddafi, since his country and almost everyone was against him.
Even the Grand Mufti of Syria Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun
ofcourse a Sunni with the Shafi'i fiqh is alligned with Assad, his son was even killed allegedly by the rebels.
Another highly influential cleric of the Arab world was al-Bouti
, another Sunni famous among his great works, one of them was La Madhabiyyaa
(a refutation to the Salafis, hence the title) he was killed a few months ago, his final moments was urging his fellow men to join the Syrian army.
The media also reports that Hezbollah are in full-blown war in Syria with their soldiers as far deep till Aleppo, when in reality they have ~ around 2000 fighters at best concentrated in Quseyr only, this is a strategic town near the Lebanese-Syria border, linked with the numerous nearby Shi'a villages in Syria that were attacked by the rebels in the past.
What's more interesting is that Assad's own Alawite uncle Riad al-Assad was the one who created the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and served as a core commander until his legs were blown off in an attack. He is still alive but side-tracked.
Assad's Baathist regime is cruel indeed, Saddam was a Baathi as well, the initial protests were actually genuine in trying to rid a dictator's dynasty for decades but it is clearly hijacked by many radical elements including the better financial and well-armed al-Nusra Front, who carry a threat, just like their brethren (Al-Shabaab; Islamic State of Iraq; Taliban; Boko Haram etc) wrecking up other countries.
Edited by GreyMatter, 02 June 2013 - 11:35 PM.