The Alawite army and police were given direct orders from the highest levels to attack villages, kill Muslims or force them to flee, Sky News has been told.
Sky's chief correspondent has been inside Syria to speak to some of the large number of Alawite military and police prisoners being held by the Free Syrian Army opposition force in the north of the country.
According to them, the commanders lied them sending to kill "foreign militants". In fact, the army simply was carrying out random shelling.
"Old people are dying, young people are dying", said one of the prisoners. "It's not a war - it's just random shelling and many people are suffering".
"We had the idea that (opposition forces) were there to terrorize people, to kill children, to kill females and to kill everybody around, but... we noticed that the opposite was what was actually happening", said another prisoner.
Another prisoner described the Free Syrian Army as people with "honor and dignity" who are "fighting for a proper reason".
The prisoners, who appear to be well treated, said the foreign correspondent. But now they face the same dangers as the ordinary Syrians are, because the positions of the Assad regime's army continuing to battle with the "foreign terrorists" are located around, and an occasional bomb or missile may well hit them as well.
Meanwhile, the US intelligence believes that the Syrian opposition is fragmented. And the Assad regime, realizing a threat to its existence, is trying to strengthen their unity. In addition, the Alawites, ruling for decades in Syria, are aware that in the case of fall of the regime they will face revenge for the many bloody crimes, and they are unlikely to survive in Syria.
The head of US National Intelligence James Clapper believes that the Syrian National Council and the Army of Free Syria, which are one of the most prominent opposition groups, do not have a single organization.
There is even an internal struggle over who will lead this organization, said Clapper.
The Iranian secret services are active against the background of an unstable situation.
"The Iranians are concerned about the Assad's state and think about how to help him. They are sending instructors and ammunition - mostly to quell the unrest. Another disturbing phenomenon that we've seen recently, apparently, is the presence of extremists who have infiltrated the opposition groups. The two bombings in Damascus in December ... and then the two additional bombings in Aleppo, both of which were targeted against security and intelligence buildings ... had all the earmarks of an al Qaeda-like attack. So we believe that al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria", said the head of the US National Intelligence.
Nevertheless, fierce battles are taking place between the Assad regime troops and rebel forces in the suburbs of Damascus since Tuesday, said the activists about the bloodiest clashes in the capital since the beginning of the uprising 16 months ago.
Fire and explosions could be heard on a video released by activists. According to human rights organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, clashes occurred near the headquarters of the Republican guard in Quds and suburbs of Al-Hama and Mashr Dumar, located just nine kilometers from Damascus.
According to an activist in Damascus, Samir al-Shami, tanks and armored vehicles are on the streets of suburbs. According to some activists, a tank was blown up.
Rebellion against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad is becoming more violent. Damascus is considered a stronghold of support for Assad, but reports of clashes near the capital are reported more often.
Department of Monitoring