Over 1,000 more Syrian refugees to return home from Lebanon

Beirut: At least 1,000 Syrian refugees who were forced to flee their war-torn country are due on Thursday to return home as part of a repatriation process, Lebanese security sources and state media said.
The figure includes around 600 Syrian refugees who had been residing in the Lebanese northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon’s state news agency, NNA, reported.
Some 250 others will leave Lebanon’s north-eastern border town of Arsal, according to the agency.
The rest are refugees in southern Lebanon as well as the capital Beirut.
Syria’s civil war of more than seven years has recently wound down after government forces, supported by Russia, regained large swathes of the country’s territory from fighters backed by Western powers and fighters.
Liza Abu Khaled, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Beirut, citing figures from the Lebanese General Security Department, said that 8,467 Syrians have already returned home in groups as part of the repatriation efforts from neighbouring Lebanon this year.
She said that some Syrian refugees chose to return home individually, rather than in organised groups.
“In 2017, the UNHCR recorded around 11,000 (individual) spontaneous returnees. This year, we are aware of 4,400 such returnees,” Abu Khaled said. Some 900,000 Syrians fled to neighbouring Lebanon from the war that erupted in their country in 2011.
Lebanese officials have repeatedly said that the influx of refugees from Syria placed a massive burden on the country’s economy.
Most of the Syrian refugees live in informal camps scattered across Lebanon under miserable conditions. — dpa