Hundreds of Syrian refugees return home from Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) — Hundreds of Syrian refugees in Lebanon went back to their war-torn country on Thursday — the latest batch to return home in recent months.

Thousands of Syrians have returned home from Lebanon since June as calm returns to parts of the country.

The refugees had gathered since the early hours in the northern Beirut suburb of Burj Hammoud. There, they boarded buses that took them home. Hundreds of others also gathered in other parts of Lebanon from where buses took them home.

Syrian state news agency SANA said buses carrying the refugees began arriving in the Syrian border villages of Jdaidet Yabous in the east and Dabousiyeh in the north in the early afternoon.

The returns come as Syrian government forces have made gains in recent years, capturing nearly 60 percent of Syria.

Thursday’s return was organized by Lebanon’s General Security Directorate in charge of foreigners in Lebanon.

Lebanon is hosting about 950,000 registered Syrian refugees. That’s according to the U.N. refugee agency. The government estimates the true number of Syrian refugees in the country to be 1.5 million.

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