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Alawites are a Islamic religious group in the Middle East. The movement was founded in Iraq and belongs to the Shiite spectrum. Alawites were often confused with the Alevis.

The Syrian elite is made up of Alawites. When the Syrian War broke out, most Alawites sided with the Assad regime against the mostly Arab rebels. The Free Alawite Brigade of the Free Syrian Army was a notable exception.

Around 2020, many Alawites began to reconsider their stance to the regime, as they were displaced in their status as National elite by Russian and Persian military advisors.