Lebanon Shuts Door to Syrian Refugees Fleeing Civil War

Some 1.13 million Syrians have registered as refugees with the UN in Lebanon, but report says officials put the figure much higher.

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Haaretz
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Displaced Syrian boys and girls in a refugee camp in Deir al-Ahmar, Lebanon, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.
Displaced Syrian boys and girls in a refugee camp in Deir al-Ahmar, Lebanon, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.Credit: AP
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Haaretz

Lebanon has closed its borders to Syrians fleeing their country's civil war as refugees but said it would allow Syrians in for other purposes, a media report says.

On Saturday, the United Nations representative in Lebanon said the country had cut sharply the number of Syrian refugees it was letting in.

On Tuesday, the Daily Star, carried on AlBawaba.com, quoted the country's social-affairs minister, Rashid Derbas, as saying that the country would let in "emergency cases" but otherwise would stop the flow of refugees. He spoke to the government's ministerial panel responsible for the Syrian refugees.

Lebanon "is no longer able to host any more,” Derbas said. Some 1.13 million Syrians have registered as refugees with the United Nations in Lebanon, but the Daily Star reported that officials put the figure much higher.

Many border areas in Syria are not seeing any fighting and could host refugees, the official said.

The Syrian refugee crisis is not affecting just Lebanon. On Monday Jordan's King Abdullah said the flood of Syrians into his country was straining the national resources.

Syrians fleeing the three-and-a-half-year fight by rebels against the regime of Bashar al-Assad have also headed to Turkey and Iraq.

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