Report: More Syrian Refugees Leave Arsal for Home this Week
Several hundred Syrian refugees residing in the northeastern border town of Arsal are expected to return on Saturday as part of a voluntary repatriation program joining several hundreds who returned last week, LBCI station said on Wednesday.
Around 470 Syrian refugees have returned to neighbouring Syria last week as part of returns coordinated between both countries.
The repatriations come amid a dispute between the Lebanese government and the U.N.'s refugee agency, which Beirut accuses of trying to discourage refugees from going home. UNHCR rejects the charges.
The Syrian government on Tuesday called on refugees to return, saying it has successfully cleared large areas of "terrorists."
The rare appeal reflects the Syrian government's growing confidence after more than seven years of war. While officials usually appeal to Syrians abroad to return during television appearances and interviews, this is the first formal appeal broadcast on official media.
Lebanon hosts around 1 million registered Syrians — who account for roughly a quarter of the tiny country's population — and officials have said that Lebanon can no longer afford the strain on its fragile economy.