Reports indicate that Assad may be planning to form a breakaway Alawite Republic in Latakia province along the Syrian coast.
This has been the enclave belonging to the minority Alawites for centuries.
The Islamic Sunnis have already won control of much of this land.
There is talk that an Islamic victory in this area would result in a bloodbath.
THe Islamic opposition has already demanded and received ransom for Alawite hostages.