Refusal by President Bashar al-Assad to work for a compromise solution that would lead to peace and democracy in his nation is currently the source of new violence in the region. Assad is a member of the Alawite sect which has fundamental religious differences with Sunnis who constitute the majority of inhabitants of Syria. The conflict is now spreading to other areas of the region. Violence has erupted in Lebanon which also contains Sunni and Alawite Muslims.
The city of Tripoli is now witnessing fighting between Sunni and Alawite factions with five dead and over a hundred wounded. This is exactly what Assad desires, more violence, more countries brought into the conflict, more confusion and more deaths. He can only retain power if people die. He can only keep his position as president if there is turmoil. Chaos is his weapon and the more chaos the greater his ability to claim that by remaining in office he alone can prevent even greater chaos.