Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Lebanon: hundreds of refugees return to Syria

Syrian Refugees | 2018-09-09 15:01:00
Lebanon: hundreds of refugees return to Syria
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Hundreds of Syrian refugees departed from multiple locations in Lebanon to return to their home country Sunday, in an initiative organized by Lebanese General Security, the Lebanese Daily Star reported.

Over the past few weeks, about 1600 Syrian refugees have returned to Syria, most of the refugees are from the western Qalamoun region, after the Lebanese security ensured the safe transfer of the refugees from Arsal to the Lebanese-Syrian border.

The Lebanese General Security announced last Month its will to create centers to register refugees after earlier outlining conditions for returnees who are in violation of residency requirements, including lifetime bans on many refugees returning to Lebanon, the Lebanese Daily Star reported.

In July, Hezbollah militia officially announced the opening of a multitude of centers across Lebanon to assist those willing to voluntarily return to Syria. The centers, announced by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hasan Nasrallah. 

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.  

According to The Daily Star, the refugees can submit applications any day except Sundays at centers in Baalbeck, Hermel, Labweh, Bednayel, Furn al-Shubbak, Nabatieh, Tyre, Bint Jbeil and Marjayoun. In order to return, Syrian refugees must submit documents for review by the Syrian regime.

 The Syrian regime on Monday said it would set up a coordination committee to repatriate millions of refugees who fled the country's seven-year conflict, the state-run news agency said.

The cabinet Sunday "agreed to create a coordination body for the return of those displaced abroad to their cities and villages," SANA reported.

The conflict has displaced more than 5 million Syrians outside the country, the United Nations says, with more than half displaced to Turkey and most of the rest split between Lebanon and Jordan

The committee "will take the necessary measures to settle the status of all those who were displaced and secure their return as security and basic services return to different regions," SANA said Sunday.

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.

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

Zaman Al Wasl
Comments (0)

Post Your Comments

fill all fields below
*This confirmation code will prevent auto submit
X :Latest News
Russia says Israel must provide more data on plane downing near Syria: Ifax      Turkey fines Google over competition infringements      Mexican president-elect stuck three hours on grounded plane      Indonesia halts new palm oil plantation development      Pot 'enthusiasts' wanted to sample cannabis in Canada, hundreds apply      Idlib's de-escalation deal in details: text      Rania Kisar recalls revolution's memorable days      Indonesian city orders top staff to 'pray or get a new job'