On Wednesday, April 18, almost 500 Syrian refugees left the Chebaa area (Nabatieh province) of Lebanon to return to the neighboring Beit Jinn district (Rif Dimashq province) in Syria. The refugees' return was reportedly organized by Lebanese authorities; the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) did not participate or cooperate with Lebanese authorities in the resettlement. International human rights groups have accused the Lebanese government of forcibly evicting the refugees.
On April 20, Human Rights Watch released a report claiming that at least 13 Lebanese municipalities had forcibly deported over 3600 Syrian refugees from 2016 through March 2018. The UNHCR claimed on April 13 that, in total, some 13,700 Syrians had been evicted from their homes in Lebanon in 2017.
President Michel Aoun, among other Lebanese politicians, have called for Syrian refugees in Lebanon to be resettled in areas in Syria not acutely affected by fighting from the ongoing civil war.
Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.
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