Continuing Investigation into the Middle East

I found an extremely interesting article detailing to the Syrian sponsorship of terrorism. This article is written by Daniel Pipes. Daniel Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum, a member of the board of the US Institute of Peace, a prize winning columnist writing for the New York Sun and a noted expert on the Middle East and Muslim extremism.

Here is a corresponding piece explaining the 'Alawi sect of Islam. Daniel Pipes mentions this sect as the sect to which President Asad of Syria belongs. These two articles explain that Syria is a majority Sunni country lead by a minority 'Alawi elite. This second article claims the 'Alawis are a sect of the twelver-Shi'a, but that there are significant differences in this variant.

It is interesting to note that Syria is somewhat like Iraq was, but in the reverse. In this country the Ba'thist leaders are 'Alawi-Shi'a, not the Sunni. In fact it is here that the Ba'th party was founded and it eventually expanded into Iraq and there became the party of Saddam Hussein.
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