Middle East

Fresh batch of refugees return to Syria from Lebanon

700 Syrians return home in repatriation drive overseen by UNHCR, Syrian embassy

Fresh batch of refugees return to Syria from Lebanon

By Wasim Saif al-Din


A fresh batch of Syrian refugees returned to their homes from Lebanon on Monday as part of an ongoing repatriation initiative overseen jointly by the UN, the Lebanese authorities and the Syrian regime.

According to Lebanon’s state press, “hundreds” of refugees returned from Lebanon to their homes in Syria on Monday via the Al-Masnaa, Al-Aboudiya and Al-Zimrani border crossings.

The repatriation campaign is also being coordinated by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

A Lebanese security source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity that at least 700 refugees had set out for Syria on Monday from different areas of Lebanon.

Mustafa Mansour, head of the Syrian Workers' Union in Lebanon, said his union was working to ensure -- in coordination with the Lebanese security apparatus and the Syrian embassy -- the “safe and voluntary” repatriation of “hundreds” of Syrian refugees.

According to Lebanese figures, roughly 1.5 million Syrian refugees still remain on Lebanese territory. The UN, however, puts the number at less than one million.

Beirut has repeatedly warned that its large refugee population -- for which it has received scant international assistance -- was putting unsustainable pressure on its already limited resources.

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