Though divisions persist within and between the various Syrian minority sects, a power vacuum in Syria will drive Alawites, Druze, Kurds and Christians to collaborate in the face of a broader Sunni threat. Recent moves by Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt suggest the region's minorities are quietly preparing their respective strategies for a post-al Assad Syria. Stratfor is paying particularly close attention to the Druze community and to Jumblatt and his interaction with Syrian Alawites. The Druze and Alawites have much in common. Both are offshoots of Shiism dating back to the late 9th century. Because of their beliefs and customs, which many orthodox Muslims find controversial, they developed into tight-knit, secretive and hierarchical religious communities. To improve their chances of survival, both sects settled in mountainous terrain that helped shield them from their larger, more powerful sectarian rivals.