Reuters – Around 900 Syrian refugees in Lebanon returned to their homeland on Saturday. (July 28) The refugees gathered in Lebanon’s Shabaa in the morning and passed through the Masnaa border crossing to enter Syria.
The return of refugees is done using buses offered by the Syrian government. “We fled to Lebanon because of terrorism, but my life has been full of indignity and misery since I left Zabadani in 2011. I’m very thankful that Syria is again as safe as ever, so we can come back to our homeland,” said returning refugee Muhammad Deeb.
Some others hoped that all Syrian refugees can eventually come back home.
“I hope security and stability will continue so that everyone will come back. It feels terrible to see Syrians in other countries,” said returning refugee Abdullah Hashem. This is the fourth round of refugees to return to Syria in a one month period.
On June 28, the first round of 400 refugees returned to their homeland from Arsal to Qalamoun via Wadi Hmayyed. Meanwhile, around 400 refugees returned to their homeland on July 7 from camps in Arsal to Qara, Jarajir and Ras al-maara in Syria.
On July 23, around 850 Syrian refugees from Arsal in Lebanon returned to their homeland through the Zemrani border crossing. The Syrian refugees’ crisis has been a hot topic in Lebanon lately.
More than one million Syrian refugees are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon. The government estimated the true number of Syrians in the country to be 1.5 million. To facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, Russia drafted a strategy for this purpose and presented it to the Lebanese authorities.
The strategy, drafted by the Russian Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, came after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump earlier this month. According to the strategy, a Russian-Syrian-Lebanese security committee will be formed to facilitate the legal return of Syrian refugees from Lebanon to their homeland.
The strategy aims at securing the return of 890,000 refugees to Syria.