If Assad steps down it will mean the deaths of many Christians and alawite Muslims in Syria by the Moose-limb brotherhood...
AFAIK, Alawi are about as Muslim as Mormons or Jehova Witnesses are Christian.
Probably. And probably why that gambit is on the table. Assad will never go unless he's carried out toes up.
If not Assad, who? The country would fall into total civil war.