Opposition civilian and political groups in Syria’s northwest announced their complete readiness to receive Syrian refugees from Lebanon in liberated Syrian regions in wake of the violations and forced deportation they are facing in the neighboring country.

The “Political Affairs Administration” in the opposition-held Idlib region and the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group said on Friday that they were prepared to welcome over two million refugees in Lebanon who are threatened with forced deportation to regime-held regions where their lives could be at risk.

In a statement, they urged Lebanese authorities to return to reason and their humanitarian and moral duties towards civilian refugees in line with international laws and norms that ensure their protection.

They added that the Syrians were initially forced to leave their country given the violence of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime against them. Nearly two million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon to escape imprisonment or death.

Now, the refugees in Lebanon are coming under systematic verbal and physical violence. They are victims of government decisions of forced deportation that have not taken into account the consequences they will face by the Assad regime once they return, they continued.

The groups said they are “fully prepared” to receive the refugees in liberated Syrian regions in the north.

The practices of the Lebanese authorities prompted popular protests and rallies in the cities of Azaz, al-Bab and Afrin in the Idlib countryside and in Idlib city.

Seif Hammoud, who was displaced from the Homs countryside to Azaz, said he fears for the life of his parents and siblings, who are living in a refugee camp in Lebanon’s Baalbek region, should they be deported to regime-controlled regions.

Syria’s northwest is home to tens of thousands of Syrians who have been displaced from across the war-torn country.

Hammoud spoke of the fears of other families over their loved ones in Lebanon. He criticized the United Nations for failing to come up with a mechanism that protects the refugees in Lebanon from the violations, detentions and insults they are facing.

The regime has arrested dozens of Syrians who had previously been forcibly deported, he revealed.

Syrian activists on social media discussed the refugee crisis, with the majority agreeing that the best solution lies in their return to opposition-held regions.

In recent weeks, the Lebanese army had carried out a campaign against Syrian refugees throughout the country, arresting 450 people and deporting over 60 to Syria, revealed informed sources.

 

Source:  Asharq Al-Awsat

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