….And, it has nothing to do with any Trump Administration plans. Other actors have stepped in to begin to make it happen and as the story tells us, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had no comment.
Before critics jump in, it should be none of our business if these families want to put their lives in the hands of Hezbollah, it is not our role (or the UN’s!) to play the papa and tell them where to live and what to do with their lives (which is a large part of the psychology that drives refugee resettlement—the ‘we know what’s good for you’ mentality!).
From Lebanon’s Daily Star (hat tip: Joanne)
BEIRUT: Dozens of refugee families returned to Aasal al-Ward in southern Syria after leaving the Lebanese border town of Arsal over the weekend as part of a deal brokered by Hezbollah and Syrian rebel factions.
The Lebanese Army said in a statement that 30 civilian vehicles carrying an estimated 50 families departed from the northern Lebanese town in the early hours of Saturday and a military escort accompanied them until the last military checkpoint.
According to the Army statement, the move was undertaken in response to a “keen interest of the families” to return to their homeland. Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV circulated a video Sunday depicting the Syrian families celebrating their return to their hometown.
Local media estimated that 50 families chose to leave Lebanon for Syria Saturday. A total of 500 families are expected to relocate following negotiations earlier this year to establish small safe zones for civilians in the Qalamoun region, brokered by Hezbollah.
A security source in the town of Arsal told The Daily Star Saturday that the return of dozens of displaced families was the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Hezbollah and the Syrian regime on one hand, and armed factions present in the area on the other.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, had no comment when contacted Sunday evening.
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Truth be told, most ‘refugees’ just want to go home and that should be our number one goal—to get them there—not move them around the world like pieces on a chessboard.