On Monday, thousands of Syrian refugees and fighters are being forced to leave a secure territory in Lebanon and return home. This move can be seen as a humanitarian effort to help victims of war return home. On the other hand, the Assad government landed on its feet and Syrians are not convinced the country has safe zones now.
The Return of the Refugees Is the Result of an Agreement between Saraya Ahl Al Sham and Hezbollah
For the second time in recent weeks, buses are expected to leave northeastern Lebanon with thousands of Syrian refugees. This transfer is part of an agreement between the Saraya Ahl Al Sham group and Hezbollah, the Lebanese political group that Iran supports. Saraya Ahl Al Sham has tight connections to the Free Syrian Army rebel party. This group aims at removing Syrian President Bashar Al Assad from power while Hezbollah supports this government.
Khalid Ra’ad is a community leader among refugees. He stated that there are still 65,000 Syrians in Lebanese area. While they desire to return home with all their hearts, they are not willing to do so while current conditions are still presiding.
“In my opinion, they all want to return to their villages … but away from Al Assad’s rule — under the international patronage and United Nations’ supervision.”
Syrian Civilians Will Be Left in Safe Zones while Fighters Will Head towards a Rebel-Controlled Town
The 40 buses have already left Lebanon. On Friday, the Lebanese security official in charge of this mission, General Abbas Ibrahim, stated that the civilians would be left in Assal al-Ward. This is a supposedly safe zone across the border from Arsal that is under the control of the Syrian government.
On the other hand, the fighters that supposedly worked against the Assad government will end up in another, unspecified area. Unofficially, the town was identified as al-Ruhaiba in the Eastern Qalamoun region that is in the hands of rebels.
On top of that, political leaders have been asking people to return home. More than that, there appeared more and more such agreements that force people to leave their newly found sanctuaries. At the moment, Lebanon has 4 million citizens and 1 million refugees.
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