The authorities in Lebanon deported about 50 Syrians within two weeks and sent them back to their country, according to security officials and a humanitarian source, today, Friday.
A military official told AFP, on condition of anonymity, that “more than 50 Syrians have been deported by the army in about two weeks.” A security source confirmed this information.
The two sources said, “The Intelligence Directorate in the Lebanese army is handing over the violating detainees to the Land Border Regiment, which is in charge of placing them outside the Lebanese borders.”
Commenting on this step, the military official explained that “the detention centers are full,” and other security agencies have refused to receive the Syrian detainees.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians fled to Lebanon after the outbreak of the civil war in 2011.
According to the authorities, there are about two million Syrian refugees on Lebanese soil, about 830,000 of whom are registered with the United Nations.
The security and military officials explained that the Lebanese authorities did not coordinate their efforts with Damascus. They indicated that a number of refugees who were deported returned to Lebanon with the help of smugglers for $100 per person.
For its part, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told “Agence France Presse” on Friday that it is “monitoring” the situation, adding that it “continues to call for respect for the principles of international law and to ensure the protection of refugees in Lebanon from forcible return.”
Lebanon has already made several attempts to voluntarily return Syrian citizens to their country, but human rights organizations consider this return to be forced.
A humanitarian source told AFP that he had noticed an increase in the number of raids launched by the army’s intelligence services targeting Syrian citizens in Beirut and the Mount Lebanon region since the beginning of April.
“In 2023, at least five raids will be carried out,” the source said, on condition of anonymity. He explained that about 450 Syrians have been arrested, and it has been confirmed that at least 66 Syrians have been deported.