Syrian army trying to prevent refugees from fleeing to Lebanon


The Syrian army has deployed heavily along the border with Lebanon to prevent refugees from escaping the unrest which has been gripping the country since mid-March, activists said Tuesday, DPA reported.

“Syrian troops backed with tanks intensified their presence Tuesday on all borders with Lebanon,” Syrian activists said.

“The troops are also closely monitoring all illegal passages between northern Lebanon and Syria,” the activists who are based in northern Lebanon told the German Press Agency dpa.

About 300 people fleeing the unrest in Syria arrived in Lebanon late Monday.

“Nearly 300 people from the border towns of Heet and Bouait have sought refuge in northern Lebanon after the Syrian army deployed inside Heet and on the outskirts of Bouait,” a Lebanese official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Tuesday.

A Syrian activist who requested anonymity told dpa the families escaped due to fears that the situation is going to deteriorate in the coming few days.

Thousands of Syrian families have poured into north Lebanon since April, using illegal crossings generally used by smugglers.

Rights groups estimate more than 1,500 civilians and 300 security force personnel have been killed since protests against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad erupted mid-March.

Thousands of others have been arrested.