Why is there unrest in Syria?

Note: Don't listen to those Assad supporters, because they're out there to brainwash others to support this bloodthristy dictator. Be objective and find the truth. Its cause is a long and pitiful tragedy.
Syria was created as a byproduct of Ottoman Turkish and French occupation. When the French kicked the Turks out of Syria after WWI, the French started to intergrate several religious and ethnic communities (Sunnis, Alawites, Christians, Druzes, Kurds) under their control, creating a nation called "Syria". The French does not trust the Sunni Muslim majority and hence they installed their colonial army officers with Alawite, Druze, and Christian troops. This is where Bashar al-Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad started his military career.

When the French finally gave Syria independence in 1946, it was established as a Western-style parliamentary republic, with a powerful parliament, prime minister, and a figurehead president. However the government itself is elected by majority Sunni Muslims. Those who are not Sunnis resented this new parliamentary republic system. Syria's minorities started to support the rising new Arab Socialist Baath Party, where the Baath Party preached religious and ethnic equality (however, when they come to power in 1963, they act as hypocrites and started sidelining Sunni Muslims).

The parliamentary republic reached a dead end when Syria signed with Nasser's Egypt to become united into one country under the United Arab Republic. However, Syria's religious minorities feared that they'll be marginalized under Nasser, so they end up launching a military coup under the political arm of the Baath Party and seized power in 1963. The Baath Party becomes the sole legal political party in Syria--hence ending the parliamentary democratic system and starting the dictatorship era of Syria.

The Baath Party, despite united under a common goal of uniting all of Syria's religious communities, was ideologically divided in Cold-War style politics. The Baath Party back then was under Salah Jadid, who represent the pro-Soviet faction of the Baath Party. Salah Jadid's opposition was the Baath Party's pragmatist faction, led by defense minister Hafez al-Assad. The two sides started to break out openly when Salah Jadid assisted the Black September guerrillas of the Yasser Arafat's PLO to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy of King Hussein so that Arafat can seize control of Jordan and become part of Greater Palestine. Hafez al-Assad himself did not want to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy, as he only wants to protect Palestinians from the Jordanian army only. Conflicts arose between the two sides, leading for the Jordanian army to kick the PLO and all the Palestinians out to Lebanon. That conflict itself led to the Hafez al-Assad's coup d'etat in 1970 and ousted Salah Jadid and his supporters from the government and declare himself Syria's president.

Under Assad's rule, he continues to commit to the Baath Party's ideological commitment towards secularism and religious equality, as he begins building Syria's military and security structures to withstand internal and domestic threats to the Baath's power in the fear of a Sunni Islamist takeover---with the support of his own Alawite base, as well as on Christians and Druzes. When these threats started to occur with the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in Hama, he mercilessly suppressed the uprising using bombs, airplanes and tanks, killing and slaughtering every civilian that existed in Hama in 1982 as a punishment for creating the Islamist uprising. The world ignored that event as though it didn't happened.

Assad also started a pervasive cult of personality as a Arab Nationalist warrior-type figure, showing himself fighting against Israel in the Six-Day War and all the subsequent wars. His anti-Israeli credentials did brought him a big support for his regime.

Hafez al-Assad remains president until his death in 2000. When his death came, the rubber-stamp Syrian parliament amended the Syrian constitution on the presidential age-limit to allow his son, Bashar, to become president.

Under Bashar's rule, he continued many of his father's policies, however, Bashar started to privatize sectors of the Syrian economy, allowing limited private investment and free markets into the country. However, Bashar created crony capitalism by placing his relatives or his supporters to run as CEO's. He ignored and neglected the management of everyday economic problems such as unemployment, inflation, poverty, etc...and marginalized the countryside as well.

When the Arab Spring came, protests started to spread across Syria and this is what created the Syrian Uprising. Bashar is no different from his father in using the same military tactics to suppress protests and the opposition in merciless, bloody way. Like Father, Like Son.

Despite the brutality and threat of genocide in that country, Bashar still has a relatively strong support from Syria's minority population, as the uprising started to get sectarianized with the opposition becoming more and more Sunni-dominated. That's what makes him different from Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gaddafi, and Ali Saleh. While those four dictators have no cover from the international community, Bashar still has a political cover from his allies, Iran, Russia, and China to portray Bashar as a good-guy facing the "so-called Sunni extremists".