Syrian refugees gather their belongings as they prepare to be evacuated from the southern Lebanese village of Shebaa on August 13, 2018. AFP / Ali DIA
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Over 100 Syrian refugees left Lebanon for their homeland Monday in the latest wave of returns to the war-torn country, General Security announced. According to the statement, General Security, in cooperation with the U.N. refugee agency, organized the return of 137 Syrian refugees by bus from south Lebanon's Shebaa through the Masnaa border crossing into Syria.Syrian state news agency SANA said the returnees had begun to arrive in Syria.Lebanon hosts close to 1 million Syrian refugees, an estimated quarter of the host country's population, with some officials putting that number higher at approximately 1.5 million.While many refugees have said they were returning voluntarily, others have been quoted as saying that living conditions in Lebanon had become so bad they had no choice but to leave.General Security underscored that the refugees returned to their homeland voluntarily.Lebanon welcomed Russia's proposal for the return of Syrian refugees, and high-level meetings between Lebanese and Russian delegations were held last month.
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