"Unlike most of Syria's Alawite leaders, the son of former Defence Minister
Mustafa Tlas is a Sunni Muslim.
Syria's majority Sunni community has been at the forefront of the revolt
against the president and has borne the brunt of the state's crackdown, which
the UN estimates has left at least 10,000 people dead.
For decades, the Tlas family has given support to the Assad family, helping
to ensure Bashar al-Assad's succession to the presidency 12 years ago." BBC
The father, Mustafa Tlas, was Minister of Defense for a very long time. If memory serves, he lived next door to the US Embassy in Damascus and was a good neighbor. He was a connaisseur of fine Kurdish antique carpets. I visited his carpets once. He also liked good Scotch (his, not mine).
Contrary to ignorant expectation many of the Baathi elite in Syria are Sunni Muslims. This fellow has been a favored creature of the regime. He differed with the rest of the inner circle around Bashar in that he thought that an unwillingness to compromise with the secular left would lead to an onslaught of Jihadi Islamists. Maliki over in Iraq says his situation is now better because AQ in Iraq have left to fight in Syria for a Sunni Islamist state there. In that endeavor the AQ types have the active encouragement of the BHO Administration.
No matter. If the Government of Syria is swept away, there will be a need for a Sunni leader... pl