According to observers in al-Jazeera and Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert with family in Lattakiya, there were probably 'foreign' elements involved in some of the shootings. However, it is not clear why Assad would want to shoot members of his minority sect, even if it was Iran or Hezbullah that was carrying it out. Other ideas floating around, are that some elements actually want to increase the cycle of protests and violence and are trying to stir up the population by targeting civilians from behind government lines. In fact, security officers were shot too, either by the demonstrators or by a third party. It would make more sense if anti-government groups were doing this. Iran may have even decided that it prefers to have the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Syria than Assad, and if so, that is a big development, and more in line with Iran's vision of the Arab world as a theocracy under its influence.
Woman moderately wounded by firebomb thrown at her car in north J'lem (Haaretz)
from the article: 'Israel believes Iran and Hezbollah aiding Syria crackdown'