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UNHCR: 500,000 Syrians back home

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, July 1, IRNA -- The United Nations refugee agency announced on Friday that some half a million of Syrian refugees have returned to their homes in the first six months of the current year.

Aid agencies estimate that more than 440,000 internally displaced people (IDP) have returned to their homes in Syria during the first six months of this year, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), according to Reuters.

In parallel, UNHCR has monitored over 31,000 Syrian refugees returning from neighboring countries so far in 2017, Reuters said.

According to the report, the refugees have mostly returned to Aleppo, Hama, Homs, and Damascus to seek out family members, check on their property.

"Since 2015, some 260,000 refugees have spontaneously returned to Syria, primarily from Turkey into northern Syria," said the report.

UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic says that given the returns witnessed so far this year and in light of a progressively increased number of returns of internally displaced people and, in time, refugees, UNHCR has started scaling up its operational capacity inside Syria.

Since the beginning of the war in 2011, about 500,000 have been killed and 13 million have been displaced inside and outside Syria.

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