Children walk inside a makeshift settlement for Syrian refugees on the outskirts of Arsal March 15, 2015. (Reuters/Ahmad Shalha)
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Around 3,000 Syrian refugees, including members of a Free Syrian Army-affiliated rebel group, will leave northeast Lebanon imminently, sources said Monday. The news came as residents of Arsal eagerly await the first access their lands in years after a recent Hezbollah offensive against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham in the town's outskirts ended with the militants leaving Lebanon. Sources close to Saraya Ahl al-Sham told The Daily Star that rebel fighters and civilians were ready to leave the northeastern town of Arsal and Wadi Hmayyed, in Arsal's outskirts, for eastern areas of Syria's Qalamoun. There has been coordination between the Lebanese state, the Syrian state and Hezbollah". The source said that 400 rebels along with 1,000 members of their families and 1,500 other civilians have expressed willingness to go to Syria. Last week, some 8,000 Syrians, including hundreds of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters, were transported to Idlib in Syria after Hezbollah seized positions held on both sides of the Lebanese-Syrian border, east of Arsal.Although Jabhat Fatah al-Sham militants have left the outskirts of Arsal, Hujeiri said that the town's residents still haven't visited their properties in the recently liberated areas.
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