Rivalry among the country's various religious and ethnic minorities has been a perennial source of instability in
Assad has repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, attempted to negotiate with these figures, offering them freedom in return for their approval of his government. In many respects, the Assad regime was more concerned with the activities of the 23 February Movement than with the open revolt of the Muslim Brethren.
Whereas the fundamentalists carried out terrorist attacks, the 23 February Movement staged several well-planned but abortive coup attempts in the 1980s and, because Umran and Jadid were Alawis, threatened to split the Alawi community.
The At Tali'a al Muqatila group, which did not recognize the spiritual or political authority of the exiled veteran leader of
The armed conflict between the Muslim Brethren and the regime culminated in full-scale insurrection in
|Terror attack Damascus March 13 1986|