1,000 SYRIAN REFUGEES RETURN FROM LEBANON AMID DEPARTURE OF REBELS FROM SOUTHERN SYRIA
DAMASCUS, Syria, Over the past 24 hours, around 1,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, kept coming back home to the towns of the Qalamoun region, in the northern countryside of Damascus. It was the third batch to return since Jun, amid ongoing efforts to encourage the refugees to come back home, after the security situation has largely improved in Syria.
The arrivals, via the Zemrani border crossing, were by cars, carrying luggage, furniture and home appliances.
On Jun 28, the first round of 400 refugees returned to their homeland from the Lebanese town of Arsal to Qalamoun, via Wadi Hmayyed. Around 400 more refugees returned to their homeland on July 7, from camps in Arsal, to the towns of Qara, Jarajir and Ras Al-Maara, in the mountainous Qalamoun region.
More than one million Syrian refugees are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon. The government estimated the number of Syrians in the country to stand at 1.5 million.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has recently urged Syrian refugees abroad, to return home, as the Syrian army has liberated large swathes of terrain across the country.
Russia has also been backing the mechanism of the return of the refugees to Syria. A day earlier, Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Defence Management Centre, said, the first two checkpoints for Syrian refugees from Jordan and Lebanon have opened, adding that another three will open soon.
Amid the efforts to return refugees, rebels and their families continued to leave areas in the southern province of Daraa. As many as 900 rebels and their family members evacuated the Daraa province over the past 24 hours, as part of a Russia-backed agreement, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. On Sunday, 3,400 militants and their families left Daraa and the nearby province of Quneitra.
The Syrian army has already captured 90 percent of Daraa, either through military action or reconciliations, since Jun 19. Both Daraa and Quneitra are key provinces for the Syrian army, due to their proximity to Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
With Russian support, reconciliation deals are being reached in several areas, enabling the army to recapture many areas without battles.
Source: NAM News Networkhttps://syrianewsgazette.com/1000-syrian-refugees-return-from-lebanon-amid-departure-of-rebels-from-southern-syria/General