You rarely read this in the Western media. Rarely. "The bad involves those features (sectarianism, fundamentalism, jihadi and foreign fighters) that a prolonged battle virtually was bound to unearth and attract and that the regime did its utmost to exacerbate. Several opposition groups have adopted an increasingly fundamentalist discourse and demeanour, a trajectory that mirrors the conflict’s gradually deadlier and more confessional turn; popular loss of faith in the West; as well as mounting pledges of support from Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. All this could be – and, looking back, was predicted to be – far worse. In the tug of war between society’s demons and its ability to resist them, the most encouraging aspect has been Syrians’ at times striking self-awareness, grasp of dangers ahead and attempts at course correction. Yet, this hardly justifies complacency. That is because the ugly is truly alarming. From the start of the crisis, the gulf between pro-opposition and proregime constituencies has grown exponentially. As if living in parallel worlds, each ostracises the other, meeting almost only in battle. Among armed rebels, activists and protesters, deeply-rooted, atavistic anti-Alawite (and anti-Shiite) prejudice resurfaces more intensely as time goes by: the minority community’s ways are alien, their mores primitive, their presence unnatural. Likewise, when evoking the fate of their foes, even mainstream Alawites can resort to bloodcurdling language." (thanks Laure)
PS I am a fan of the writing of ICG reports. They have a good editor.