Islam in Syria total population: Sunnis make up 74% of the total, mostly of Arab, Kurdish and Turkoman ethnicities. Shia’s make up the remaining 13%: Alawites are the predominant Shia group, followed by Twelvers and Ismailis. Sunnis are mainly of the Shafi’i madhhab with pockets of Hanafi and Hanbali. Several large Sufi orders are active in the country, including the Naqshbandi tariqa, and Qadiriyya. Although not traditionally considered as Muslims, the Druze make up 3% of the total population.
You’ve got to notice those percentages, Sunnis 74%, Shias 13%. Those are sadly, difficult odds for the Assad administration. It probably also indicates how the governing has been in Syria.
Kurds are largely Sunnis as well I think we know but that hardly means they are fighting on the side of ISIS.
1982 saw a town shelled:
The Hama massacre (Arabic: مجزرة حماة) occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian Arab Army and the Defense Companies, under the orders of the country’s then-president, Hafez al-Assad, besieged the town of Hama for 27 days in order to quell an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood against al-Assad’s government. The massacre, carried out by the Syrian Army under commanding General Rifaat al-Assad, effectively ended the campaign begun in 1976 by Sunni Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, against the government.
And as indicated, Muslim Brotherhood was involved in the uprising.
It is little wonder, that those who were done wrong in the past might dish out severe reprisals. I only say that because some people see this blame game in simple terms.
If we believe in Democracy, it is very unfortunate the Shias are evidently a minority.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Assad had gotten some arms from Iraq in the past.
Syria is really where ISIS became more powerful though I am sure many foreign combatants are there.