Lebanese Army Prevents 700 Syrians from Illegally Crossing Border
In the past week, the Lebanese army has successfully turned away approximately 700 Syrians who were attempting to cross into Lebanon illegally. This surge in attempted border crossings coincides with rare protests in Syria’s southern city of Sweida, as dire living conditions continue to fuel discontent in areas controlled by the regime.
Since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, millions of Syrians have fled their homeland, seeking refuge abroad. Lebanon, in particular, has been a major destination for Syrian refugees due to its proximity and relatively open borders. However, the recent economic downturn in Syria has prompted even more people to flee, with many hoping to reach Europe.
According to a security official, the deteriorating economic conditions in Syria, including the collapse of the Syrian pound and widespread poverty, have pushed Syrians to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Some hope to find work in Lebanon, while others have their sights set on Europe.
The protests in Syria erupted after the government lifted fuel subsidies, further exacerbating the economic hardships faced by the population. The war has already ravaged the country’s infrastructure and industry, leaving many struggling to make ends meet.
On August 12, the Lebanese army announced the arrest of 134 migrants, mostly Syrians, near the northern border with Syria. The migrants had attempted to take a boat to Europe. Additionally, 150 Syrians were arrested for illegally crossing into Lebanon in the province of Akkar.
Lebanon’s own economic collapse has turned it into a launchpad for migrants. Lebanese citizens, along with Syrian and Palestinian refugees, are increasingly desperate to leave the country and are resorting to dangerous sea routes to reach Europe.
Currently, Lebanon is hosting around two million Syrian refugees, with over 800,000 registered with the United Nations. This makes Lebanon the country with the highest number of refugees per capita in the world.
Many migrants departing from Lebanon have their sights set on Europe, with Cyprus being one of the main destinations due to its proximity. The island nation is only 175 kilometers (110 miles) away from Lebanon.
Syria’s civil war has had devastating consequences, with over half a million people killed and approximately half of the country’s pre-war population displaced from their homes. The conflict has not only caused immense human suffering but has also created a significant refugee crisis that continues to impact neighboring countries like Lebanon.
The Lebanese army’s efforts to prevent illegal border crossings are crucial for maintaining stability and managing the influx of refugees. However, it also highlights the dire situation faced by Syrians who are willing to take great risks in search of a better life.
As the economic and humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, it is imperative for the international community to provide support to both Syria and its neighboring countries. This assistance should focus on addressing the root causes of the crisis, including the need for economic stability, infrastructure development, and access to basic services.
In conclusion, the Lebanese army’s recent success in preventing 700 Syrians from illegally crossing the border highlights the ongoing challenges faced by both Syria and Lebanon. The economic collapse in Syria has pushed more people to flee their homeland, with many hoping to find better opportunities in Europe. It is crucial for the international community to address the underlying causes of the crisis and provide support to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the conflict.