Syrian activists from the Alawite sect of Shia Islam, many who have been working with the Syrian opposition, have been fleeing across the border to Turkey to escape mistrust in their homeland.
In some cases, even Alawites who support the Sunni-majority opposition are viewed by their counterparts as spies or agents of the government.
According to one Alawite activist living in Turkey, many Alawites have stayed silent out of fear for their lives.
President Bashar al-Assad, from a prominent Alawite family, often projects himself as protector of the sect and other religious minorities, and warns that they would face discrimination if the opposition is successful.
The activist said that many Alawites know this is a lie, but can “do nothing”.
Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught reports from Antakya, Turkey.