BEIRUT – Hundreds of refugees in a southeastern Lebanese town returned to Syria in what they say is a voluntary decision to return to homes in the war-torn country.
Lebanon’s National News Agency says about 500 men, women and children boarded buses in the town of Chebaa that will take them back to Beit Jinn in Syria, close to the Lebanese border.
Lebanon hosts nearly a million Syrian refugees and is anxious to see them go back to Syria. Lebanese leaders have been pushing to repatriate Syrians, saying they are a drain on public services and jobs.
Wednesday’s repatriation is a rare instance of refugees moving from Lebanon to safe areas in Syria.
The U.N.’s refugee agency said in a statement it is not organizing the returns, citing “the prevailing humanitarian and security situation in Syria.”