Assad's strategic options Having followed the conflict closely since its inception, I have often thought long and hard about the possible outcomes and/or long term ramifications of this conflict. It is clear from the recent Government actions of strategic withdrawal to the north and the west that Assad plans to, perhaps as a last resort, create an Alawite fiefdom in the west. In my opinion, it seems like a sound plan of action. I would do the following things to expedite this process; 1. Strengthen the alliance with Hezbollah (authorise more advanced weapons shipments and finance - thereby using Hezbollah as the strategic deterrent to Israel). 2. Offer the Kurds autonomy and finance in return for military support against the rebels (thus encircling the rebels). 3. Split the rebels by making peace with the moderates and attack the extremist elements with prejudice. Once the west is consolidated and stabilised future campaigns to retake the anterior of Syria could be initialised. This plan of action would allow the Syrian state to recuperate economically and provide relief for the armed forces. I was interested on receiving more informed opinions on this scenario.