Hundreds of refugees leave Lebanon for Syria in latest repatriations

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
CAIRO
Published 28.07.2018 19:44
Updated 28.07.2018 19:49
Syrian refugees asnd children walk with their belongings as they prepare to board a bus at the Masnaa crossing on the Lebanon-Syria border on July 28, 2018, returning them back to Syria. (AFP Photo)
Syrian refugees asnd children walk with their belongings as they prepare to board a bus at the Masnaa crossing on the Lebanon-Syria border on July 28, 2018, returning them back to Syria. (AFP Photo)

Hundreds of Syrians who had fled war in their homeland to neighboring Lebanon returned to the country on Saturday, Syria's regime news agency SANA reported.

After their arrival at the Jdeidet Yabous crossing on the border to Lebanon, the returnees were transported by government buses to their homes in the countryside around the capital Damascus, SANA reported without giving further details.

In recent months, hundreds of Syrian refugees have been repatriated from Lebanon as the war winds down in their homeland. Lebanon is currently hosting some 1 million Syrians.

Lebanese officials have repeatedly said the influx of refugees from Syria has placed a massive burden on the country's economy.

The head of Lebanon's General Security Department, Abbas Ibrahim, said he expected the repatriation of more Syrians in the near future, the official news agency NNA reported.

"The next period will witness the return of hundreds of thousands of the displaced from Lebanon to their homes in coordination with the Russian initiative," Ibrahim said as he toured a refugee repatriation center in the southern Lebanese village of Chebaa.

Russia, a major military ally of the Assad regime, has announced coordination with Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey for facilitating the return of refugees to Syria.

More than 5 million Syrians have fled the country since the conflict began more than seven years ago, according to estimates by the United Nations.

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