Ethnic cleansing feared in Syria

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:24 PM ET

OTTAWA — There are fears Syria could descend into a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign if and when the Assad regime falls during the country's civil war.

QMI Agency has learned Canadian officials are worried that Syrian rebels would turn their guns on minority Alawites, a Shiite Muslim minority in the country that has backed Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

It's estimated 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's 21-month civil war and that more than 600,000 people have fled to Syria's neighbours.

The International Rescue Committee says many refugees have accused both government and rebel forces of slaughter, rape and torture.


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