Hundreds of displaced Syrians on Thursday left Lebanon for their war-torn homeland to reunite with relatives they have not seen for months, or even years. FRANCE 24 visited the border town of Arsal to speak with those gearing up for the departure.
Some 400 refugees on Thursday crammed into trucks, tractors and buses lined up by the Lebanon-Syria border to join the convoy that would bring them back to Syria.
“I prefer to be back in my country, whatever happens, even if I die,” one returning Syrian told FRANCE 24 as he prepared for departure.
But for others, especially those who come from especially restless areas like Idlib in the northwest, it is still too premature to return.
“We don’t feel safe going there. It’s all death and terrorism. It’s better to stay here than going there and be murdered,” an Idlib native said.
According to the United Nations, 12,000 Syrians have returned from Lebanon to Syria this year alone.