Syria har tatt et langt steg mot borgerkrig og irakiske tilstander. I byen Homs nøyer ikke opposisjonen seg med fredelige demonstrasjoner lenger. Deler av den er bevæpnet og de har begynt likvideringer av tystere.

En kjent lege ble nylig drept utenfor sitt hjem. Folk sa det var kjent at han forrådte sårede unge menn til sikkerhetspolitiet.

Perhaps the most dramatic facet of the struggle is a series of assassinations this past week that have left nearly a dozen professors, doctors and informers dead in a paroxysm of violence that echoes the sectarian vendettas still besetting Iraq. Unlike the uprising’s early days, when the government exercised a near monopoly on violence, fear is beginning to spread in the other direction, as insurgents kill government supporters and informers, residents say.

One of those killed was Dr. Hassan Eid, the chief of thoracic surgery at the National Hospital here and an Alawite from Al Zuhra, one of a handful of neighborhoods where his sect makes up a majority and where buildings and streets are still plastered with the portraits of Mr. Assad. He was shot to death in front of his house as he headed off to work, residents said.

Al Ouruba, a government-aligned newspaper, called him a “symbol of dedication” and said he treated victims of the violence “without discriminating between any of them.” But in Sunni Muslim locales, residents called him a government informer who helped security forces detain the wounded who were treated at his facility.

By nightfall, a hint of triumphalism echoed in parts of the city, as some people celebrated his death.

“He was responsible for the death of many young men,” said a 65-year-old resident of Homs, who gave his name as Rajab. “He was killed because he deserved it.”

Regimet svarer med å drepe folk som mistenkes for å sympatisere med demonstrantene, og gjerne da en på samme nivå.

Residents said that after Abu Ali died, three Alawite teachers were killed at a school in the neighborhood of Baba Amr. (Government newspapers did not confirm those deaths.) In the afternoon, Mohammed Ali Akil, an assistant dean at Al Baath University in Homs, was found dead in his car on a highway. Students said he had shown support for the uprising and criticized Mr. Assad’s leadership in his lectures.

“It is true that we were scared during your lectures, but you were a wonderful professor,” a student posted on Facebook. “May you rest in peace. We won’t forget you.”

Slike drap gjør at kløftene mellom alawitter og sunnier begynner å bli dype mange steder i landet.

Mens demonstrasjonene har blitt noe mindre har motsetningene vokst, og de er spesielt stor i Homs. Byen er regelrett delt.

Key Syrian City Takes On the Tone of a Civil War