UN report finds more than 600,000 Syrians returned home

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 14.08.2017 22:11

The U.N. Migration Agency stated in a recent report that the number of Syrians returning to their homes has increased after their hometowns were cleared from terrorists with the efforts of international actors including Turkey.

According to the report by the International Organization for Migration, over 600,000 displaced Syrians returned home in the first seven months of 2017. Findings showed that the highest number of people, 35,386 Syrians, returned from Turkey followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Syrians who returned from Turkey and Jordan reportedly went back to Aleppo and al-Hasakah Governorates.

While hosting over 3 million refugees, Turkey also contributed to the efforts of clearing terrorists from Syria with its cross-border operations in order to help Syrians to return to their homes. For this purpose, Operation Euphrates Shield was launched on Aug. 24, 2016 with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) supported by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) entering into Jarablus, a Syrian town bordering Turkey, as the first step of the operation. Turkey repeatedly stressed that it would not allow any terrorist groups along its border and there was no difference between Daesh and the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The Jarablus offensive achieved its objectives of clearing Turkey's border from Daesh, and preventing the PYD from gaining control of the Azaz-Jarablus front to connect its cantons. The population of Jarablus increased significantly after the clearing of terrorists, and many Syrians returning to their homes said they were grateful for the efforts of Turkey.

Operation Euphrates Shield continued with the al-Bab offensive which annihilated thousands of terrorists from the city with the cooperation of the FSA.

Findings in the U.N. report indicated that nearly 27 percent of the returnees said they returned in order to protect their properties or assets while 25 percent gave the improved economic situation at home as their reason of return. Almost all of the Syrians, namely 97 percent, went back to their own house, while 1.8 percent are living with hosts.

The report found that Aleppo received the most returnees followed by al-Bab, Hama, Menbij and al-Khafsa.

It was contended that even though the number of Syrians returning to their homes increased, the high rates of displacement in Syria continue to be a significant problem waiting for a solution.

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