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Nearly 700 Syrian refugees in Arsal head home to Qalamoun region

Syrian Refugees | 2018-07-23 19:55:00
Nearly 700 Syrian refugees in Arsal head home to Qalamoun region
(Zaman Al Wasl)- A third installment of refugees who had signed up to return to Syria started their journey home from the Lebanese border town of Arsal Monday morning, the Lebanese Daily Star reported.

About 700 Syrian refugees who have been living near the border town of Arsal back to their towns in the western Qalamoun region which overlooking on the Lebanese Bekka Valley.

The convoy of refugees was due to enter Syria last Wednesday by the procedures by the Lebanese General Security have delayed the move, according to Basil al-Hujair, director of Arsal's municipality.

Ten weeks ago, 377 refugees returned from Arsal to Syria. Most of the refugees are from the western Qalamoun region.

Hezbollah militia has provided guarantees to the refugees to not be prosecuted and to get the regime's immunity if they accept returning to Syria.  

Thousands of Syrians are unable to return because their homes were destroyed in the fighting, or because they region fear military conscription or retribution from regime forces.

But the tough retractions and mounting arrest campaign by the Lebanese security have pushed hundreds of refugees to move back home as fighting there subsides.

The Syrian regime has called on refugees to return, saying it has successfully cleared large areas of "terrorists," according to AP.

The appeal reflects the regime's growing confidence after more than seven years of war. Syrian regime forces, with crucial support from Russia and Iran, recently retook large areas near the capital, Damascus, and are waging a new offensive in the south. The regime refers to all armed opposition groups as terrorists.

Over 5.6 million Syrians have fled the country. The Foreign Ministry says many internally displaced have already returned home, urging refugees to do same.

On May, 3,000 refugees were set to leave northeast Lebanon to the Qalamoun region, despite the United Nations saying conditions are still not suitable and refusing to organize the returns.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon have called on the UN refugee agency to protect them from the abuses of Lebanese security that uses the identity of UNHCR employees to delude refugees in its latest arrest campaign.

Number of Syrian refugees told Zaman al-Wasl that the Lebanese security members have been claiming that they are workers for the UNHCR to enters and interrogate the refugees in covert way; such a claim enables to arrest some of them later.

The new violation of human rights and the moral low followed Lebanon's call for refugees to return to Syria's Assad.

Lebanese officials have accused the UN refugee agency of deliberately discouraging refugees from returning.

Zaman Al Wasl
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