Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime has faced significant pressure in recent weeks, especially after the July 18 attack on the National Security building in Damascus that killed four members of his regime's inner circle. Since that time, al Assad has tried to fill those positions by promoting other inner circle members to the killed officials' former posts. However, he has also been forced to draw from a less loyal support base to fill some key positions, as well as appoint Sunni individuals of questionable loyalty to project an image of drawing support from Syria's Sunnis. Despite large setbacks and operational security failures within the regime, much of al Assad's Alawite inner circle appear to be remaining loyal. However, even if the inner circle members maintain their loyalty, there is still the question of retaining the loyalty of the security and intelligence apparatus. Numerous regional commanders in the political, security and intelligence branches have already defected, indicating that some of these branches are beginning to break down. Without the support of these key units and their leaders, the prospect of regime collapse will increase.