23 March 2018

Nearly 500,000 Syrian refugees return home in 2017

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The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that more than 440,000 internally displaced people and over 31,000 Syrian refugees overseas have returned to their homes in Syria so far in 2017, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a daily briefing here on Friday.

UNHCR noted that due to the notable trend of spontaneous returns of refugees to and within Syria, it has started scaling up its operational capacity inside the country, said Dujarric.

Since 2015, some 260,000 refugees have spontaneously returned to Syria, primarily from Turkey into northern Syria, according to UNHCR.

The Syrian war, now into its seventh year, has taken a toll on the country's population with hundreds of thousands being killed, around 6.3 million being displaced within the country, and 5.1 million being forced to flee as refugees outside its borders.

Over the past months, the situation is particularly dire in Raqqa, where an offensive was launched to take the city from the Islamic State. About 25,000 have reportedly fled the city since military operations started, however as many as 100,000 civilians could still be trapped there.

2017.07.01 / 14:37
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