BEIRUT (Sputnik) — The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has totalled less than 1 million people for the first time since 2014, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman Lisa Abou Khaled told Sputnik.
“In November 2017, and after regular verification exercises resulting in the inactivation of several thousands of refugee files, the number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon went below 1 million. As of 31 November 2017, 997,905 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR in Lebanon,” Abou Khaled said.
“Ceasefires have restored relative calm to some parts of Syria, and this has encouraged a considerable number of internally displaced Syrians and a smaller number of Syrian refugees to return to their homes. And UNHCR began this year to scale up its operational capacity inside Syria,” Abou Khaled said.
According to the spokeswoman, until the war is over it is very important to have a political and peace process, which could put an end to the conflict and create the conditions for refugees’ return to their homes. Syria has been engulfed in civil war for six years, government forces have been fighting against different opposition groups, as well as extremists and terrorists. The situation made millions of people flee the country for Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
Couple of months ago, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry reported that the hostilities have significantly decreased in Syrian regions of Daraa, Quneitra and as Suwayda. The decline in hostilities has become possible after Putin and Trump reached a deal on controlling the implementation of the truce in Syria's south which was also backed by Jordan.