950 Syrian refugees leave Lebanon voluntarily and return home

950 Syrian refugees leave Lebanon voluntarily and return home

BEIRUT _ Agencies

On Sunday, some 950 Syrian refugees voluntarily left several areas in Lebanon and returned to Syria.

The new batch included displaced persons residing in Saida, Nabatiyah and Shab´a in southern Lebanon, in the western, central and northern Bekaa in the east of the country, in Tripoli and Akkar in the north, and Burj Hammoud in the capital, Beirut.

They are returning to Syria under coordinated arrangements with the Syrian authorities, supervised and organized by the Lebanese public security in cooperation and coordination with the Lebanese Army intelligence, according to Lebanese sources.

Most of the returning refugees left on board 25 buses secured by the Syrian authorities, while others boarded private vehicles loaded with clothing, belongings and acquisitions during the displacement period.

Members of the Lebanese public Security and army were escorted back from the departure points and up to four border crossings at the factory in al-Zmarrani in the middle and north of the city, and in slavery and the Al-Baqaa in the north.

The refugees will return to their towns and villages on the eastern side of Jabal al-Sheikh, Rif Dimashq, Hama, Zabadani, Qalmun and other Syrian regions.

A source in the Lebanese Red Cross told Xinhua that the ambulance teams provided medical assistance to dozens of displaced returnees, especially children.

Ambulances equipped with returnees to border crossings were also escorted at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the source said.

With a clear smile on his face, the Syrian refugee displaced from the town of Beit Jin Hassan al-Ali, in an interview with the news agency "Xinhua", praised the Lebanese state for helping the refugees return to Syria.

"Bab al-Faraj is open to IDPs and the road to return has become easy and secure," said the mother of six children displaced from Rif Dimashq, Jumana Saidi.

"Most of the displaced are preparing to return to Syria, the war is at an end (...) and there is no longer any argument for our survival in the camps of displacement, where torment, bitterness, hunger and destitution."

Assad al-Samiri, who has returned to al-Bireh town in western Bekaa, said he was "back with his family after he confirmed his predecessors that the situation in our country has become good and our return is necessary, rather it is a national duty."

"The return of the displaced is like a snowball growing day by day," said the displaced from rural Aleppo to al-Daweer in Nabatiyah Jadallah al-Jabouri.

Lebanon, according to its authorities, hosts nearly 1.5 million Syrian refugees.

Since last April, separate batches of hundreds of Syrian refugees have voluntarily returned from Lebanon to Syria.

A Lebanese public security source predicted that the next few years would see a clear escalation of the movement of returnees voluntarily and that the return would be expanded to all Lebanese territory.

Lebanon has recently repeatedly called on the international community to help ensure the gradual return of Syrian refugees to the safe areas of Syria.

Lebanon has received support for its appeals in June through a Russian initiative to secure the return of 890 thousand Syrian refugees to their country, and hoped it would enjoy the support of the United Nations.