Hundreds of Syrian refugees have returned to their homeland from various areas in neighboring Lebanon after Syrian government forces and allied fighters from popular defense groups managed to liberate their hometowns from the clutches of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups.
The return of refugees took place under the supervision of Lebanon’s General Security in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported.Refugees arrived at the Jdeidat Yabous, al-Zamarani and al-Dabbousiya border crossings from Lebanese territories on Thursday. They returned home in buses sent by Syrian authorities.
They underwent medical checks and vaccines were administered to them upon arrival at the Dabbousiya border crossing.
A number of cars and trucks with displaced Syrians and their luggage on board also arrived at the Zamarani crossing. They received the required assistance before heading towards their hometowns and villages.
Earlier this year, Lebanese President Michel Aoun urged world powers to “make all efforts” to help the repatriation of Syrian refugees.
“Lebanon calls on the international community to make all efforts possible and provide suitable conditions for a safe return of displaced Syrians,” he stated.
More than one million Syrian refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Lebanon.
The Beirut government estimates that the true number of Syrians in Lebanon stands at 1.5 million.
In February, Lebanon’s minister of state for displaced affairs said his country would stick primarily to a Russian strategy for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.
“The Russian strategy will be adopted as a basis for our approach towards the return of Syrian refugees to Syria,” Saleh Gharib told China’s official Xinhua news agency on February 6.
He also did not deny the possibility of visiting Syria, or conducting a direct dialogue with high-ranking government officials in Damascus to secure the return of Syrian refugees.
“Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is very much aware of the sensitivity of this issue, and all necessary steps will be taken in this regard,” Gharib pointed out.
The strategy to help Syrian refugees go back to their homes was drawn up following a meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Finnish capital city of Helsinki on July 16, 2018.
It specifies around 76 residential neighborhoods in Syria’s central provinces of Homs and Hama, the northwestern province of Idlib as well as Damascus to enable the return of 360,000 Syrian refugees as a first step.
The strategy also entails the rehabilitation of houses in the mentioned areas, which would allow the return of 500,000 more Syrian refugees within two years.