Report: Hizbullah Prepares to Repatriate Syrian Refugees

More than 1,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s border towns of al-Qaa and Arsal will be repatriated to Syria under a “Hizbullah mechanism to help refugees return home, in coordination with Lebanese authorities and Damascus,” media reports said on Friday.

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim announced on Thursday during the inauguration of a new General Security premises in Baalbek, that “a new batch of displaced Syrians will be returning home in the next days.”

Hizbullah official responsible for the refugees file, MP Nawwar al-Saheli, told al-Joumhouria daily: “A good number of applicants have signed in to return in nine reception centers established by Hizbullah in the South, Bekaa and Beirut.

“Many other Syrian refugees residing in the North and other Lebanese regions are inquiring about the mechanism for return,” added al-Saheli.

Early in July, Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced that the party was creating a mechanism to help Syrian refugees return home, in coordination with Lebanese authorities and Damascus.

The group has set up reception centers with phone numbers and social media accounts where refugees could sign up to return home.

“The displaced are from various Syrian regions and from various political orientations,” added Saheli, indirectly referring to media reports alleging that only pro-regime refugees were permitted to return home.

He said the return is taking place in “coordination with Lebanon’s General Security and the competent authorities in Syria.”

“As soon as the logistical procedures are complete, the first batch will move to Syria through Hizbullah within a couple of weeks,” he added.

On accusations that Hizbullah is taking over the State’s role in that regard, he said: “We have uselessly waited for a long time. When the State restores its actual role, then we will be at its service.”

Source: Naharnet, Agence France Presse

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