1500 Syrian refugees leave Lebanon

The "voluntary repatriation" operations took place through the border crossing points of Masnaa, Qaa, Abboudiyé and Zamrani. Damascus collaborated with the authorities in Beirut. Before leaving, children given vaccination. At the height of the crisis, Lebanon welcomed nearly two million refugees.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Around 1,500 Syrian refugees left Lebanon yesterday as part of operations overseen by general security, in collaboration with the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Repatriation operations, which have been underway for some time but have so far been poorly applied, took place through the border crossing points of Masnaa, Qaa, Abboudiyé and Zamrani.

In recent years, even the Lebanese Church had repeatedly launched warnings about the danger of a very serious economic, political and social crisis for the country, linked to the presence of refugees "forgotten like the Lebanese". In the most critical moment, the Land of the Cedars welcomed almost two million people fleeing war and poverty, compared to a population of about 4.4 million inhabitants.

According to a note released in the afternoon by the General Directorate for General Security, which deals with repatriation operations, "a total of 1498 refugees returned to Syria" in the context of a "voluntary repatriation" operation. The initiative took place with the cooperation of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The official Ani agency reports that a group of 500 Syrian refugees have returned from Békaa. Another 300 passed through the border crossing at Joussiyé and 200 from the settlements in the village of Ersal. Dozens of families have left the village of Qaa. Added to these is the group set up by Bourj Hammoud, in Beirut.

Also in the capital, a group of 71 families gathered at the sports citadel and from there was transported to the border aboard green buses, supplied by the Syrian government. Another handful of 25 refugees left Nabatiyé, in southern Lebanon, under the supervision of the army. Movements are also recorded in the north, with a small group - the number is not specified - which left Tripoli to return to their country of origin.

Before traveling, the children were subjected to the vaccination cycle under the supervision of the Lebanese Ministry of Health

Still in the north, several families of refugees long established in the villages of the region crossed the border of Abboudiyé, exploiting the transportation made available by Damascus for the return operations.