Salim Idris, the Coordinator of the Office of Refugee Affairs in the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), pointed out that those who expected improvements in living conditions in the regime areas and rushed to normalize relations with it have been largely disappointed. He noted that despite continuous harassment of refugees in Lebanon, new families are leaving Syria for Lebanon instead of returning home.
Idris acknowledged the extent of the suffering Syrian refugees endure in Lebanon due to harassment by Lebanese militias affiliated with the Assad regime. Despite this, dozens of people have recently fled Syria and smuggled themselves into Lebanon.
According to Idris, if the situation in Syria was not worse than in Lebanon, Syrians would not flee to Lebanon knowing in advance the pressure and blackmail they may encounter as a result of hate speech fueled by those associated with the Assad regime in Lebanon.
Recently, Lebanese authorities detected signs of a new wave of Syrian refugees crossing illegally into Lebanese territory. Bashir Khader, the governor of Baalbek-Hermel, confirmed that the Lebanese authorities detect between 20 and 30 Syrian families attempting to enter Lebanese territory daily in the vicinity of the town of Arsal.
Reports indicate that refugee outflow has increased in recent weeks after the earthquake that hit Syria and Türkiye on February 6. The Lebanese territory has become a daily destination for dozens of families trying to reach safety.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)