File - In this May 28, 2014 photo, Walid Jumblatt, the political leader of Lebanon's minority Druse sect, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, as he sits in his garden house, in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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Fighters from Syria's Al-Qaeda branch, the Nusra Front, have killed at least 20 Druze villagers, raising fear for one of Syria's minorities as insurgents including Sunni Islamists gain ground against President Bashar Assad.Druze in Lebanon and Israel have made separate appeals for their Syrian kin to be armed to defend themselves from groups such as Nusra and the more powerful ISIS, which has persecuted both minorities and fellow Sunnis.Assad, himself a member of a minority sect, the Alawites, has enjoyed support from many Druze in his fight against an insurgency whose two most powerful groups, ISIS and Nusra, are Sunni Islamists.A U.S. official said the Druze of Israel had raised the idea of arming the Syrian Druze with Israel, the United States and with Jordan.By contrast, Walid Jumblatt, Lebanon's most influential Druze politician and an Assad opponent, has told Syrian Druze to reconcile their differences with those in the south who support the war against the Syrian regime.
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