Thousands of Syrian refugees to leave Lebanon under Hezbollah-Nusra ceasefire

Thousands of refugees on the Syria-Lebanon are set to be transferred to Syria’s Idlib province under the second phase of the ceasefire deal struck between Hezbollah and Nusra Front.

Thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are set to return to Syria on Monday under the second stage of a Hezbollah-Nusra ceasefire to restore order to the border region.

Between 150 and 200 buses will arrive at Syria’s Qalamoun mountains over the next few days transporting an estimated 9,000 refugees, a security source told The Daily Star.

The transfer comes a day after the groups exhanged bodies of dead fighters, the first phase of the truce deal which followed two weeks of fighting on both sides of the Leabnon border between Hezbollah and the former al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel group – also known as Fatah al-Sham.

Refugees, among them family of Nusra fighters, will start leaving on Monday from the camps in Wadi Hmayed.

In return, eight imprisoned Hezbollah fighters will be returned to Lebanon.

The Lebanese Red Cross said on Twitter it would be “handling the logistics and escort of the convoy from the outskirts of Arsal to the Syrian border”, at the request of the Directorate of General Security.

Hezbollah, which has played a role in Syria’s civil war supporting President Bashar al-Assad, and the Lebanese Army are expected to launch an offensive against the smaller Islamic State enclave near Arsal.