Syria

Lebanese Official Accuses Syrian Government of Ethnic Cleansing

Says Assad's forces getting rid of Sunni Muslims

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have begun ethnically cleansing Sunni Muslims and deliberately pushing refugees across the border into Lebanon, the Lebanese caretaker minister for social affairs said on Tuesday.

Assad is battling a Sunni-led revolt in Syria, which he and his father before him have ruled for four decades. He belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

Wael Abu Faour told Reuters that during the 27-month-old conflict Syrian forces had committed what was "tantamount to ethnic cleansing next to the Syrian-Lebanese border."