I had been to the lion's den that of Bashar Assad, Lattakia district northwest coast of Syria thrice several years before the civil strife. My host family is at Qassabin, a farm village in the district.
Now, I realise that people were keeping an eye on me, for on the second visit I met an army personnel in uniform at the neighbour's house. On the last visit, a policeman in civilian clothes was stationed at the same neighbour's house. Everyday he would pass by my host's house several times perhaps checking my whereabout. This happened after I wandered to a nearby village alone taking pictures. A villager stopped me and asked (most likely) what I was doing. In reply, I could just say a few Arabic words of greetings.
Until today I don't really follow why many of his people are warring against him.