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Syria regime arrests family days after returning from Turkey

Security services for the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad have arrested a family which returned from Turkey to the city of Homs, in yet another case of betrayal of the promise of reconciliation for those who return to the war-torn country.

According to the Syrian opposition news outlet, Nedaa Post, local sources told it that a family that returned to Homs from Turkey was arrested by the military security branch of Syrian forces, which surrounded one of the farms in the south-east of the city and conducted the raid.

From there, the five family members – who include a woman and two children – were taken for interrogation in the regime's Military Security Branch 261 in central Homs, with no further news of their situation or case. Branch 261 is widely known, however, to be the site of rampant torture conducted on detainees over the decades, and especially throughout the ongoing 11-year-long civil war.

Since Assad largely triumphed over the Syrian opposition groups – primarily due to military assistance from Russia and Iran – throughout the past few years, Damascus has been attempting to encourage refugees to return to the country from abroad and rebuild it under its rule, with the guarantee of reconciliation and safety for returnees.

There have been significant concerns, however, that refugees who consider returning still face serious risk of losing their liberties and even lives, as it has been reported numerous times over the years that returnees in regime-controlled territory are routinely detained, disappeared, tortured, and sometimes killed at the hands of authorities, upon their return.

The raid and arrests reportedly took place only days after the family returned from Turkey, representing the latest known case of Syrian authorities and security services betraying their guarantee of safety and reconciliation.

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