Hundreds of Syrian refugees departed Lebanon on Monday from the mountainous region of Arsal area making their way back home after years of exile as a result of the bloody neighboring civil war.
888 refugees elected to return to the Qalamoun region, northeast of Damascus through the Zamarani crossing, under the watchful eye of the Lebanese army and international aid organizations.
Members of the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were also present to ensure that those who departed did so with their own accord, in line with previous agreements.
The UNHCR had previously opposed the return of refugees, arguing that it was not deemed safe for them to return yet, which triggered a long-lasting feud with Lebanese officials, including caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.
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