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Lebanon: fourth batch of refugees to return to Syria next week

Syrian Refugees | 2018-08-02 13:13:00
Lebanon: fourth batch of refugees to return to Syria next week
 (Zaman Al Wasl)- The fourth batch of refugees will return next week to Syria from the Lebanese border town of Arsal, topping the number of voluntarily returned refugees to 2600, Zaman al-Wasl report said.

The new batch of refugees is due to enter Syria as the evacuation procedures end by the Lebanese General Security.  Most of the refugees are from the western Qalamoun region.

The Lebanese security has formed several committees to register the refugees who war to return in order to send the lists to Damascus to get the get the regime’s approval. 

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.  

On Monday, about 700 refugees who have been living near Arsal returned to their towns in the western Qalamoun region which overlooking on the Lebanese Bekka Valley.

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.

A survey made by Zaman al-Wasl on a random sample of refugees in the camps of Arsal, including 210 refugees, showed that 92% of the refugees had refused to return, while 8% had agreed to return to the towns that they described as safe in the western Qalamoun.

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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