Hezbollah escorts more than 3,000 across border in latest phase of repatriation that aid groups say fails to guarantee welfare

More than 3,000 refugees and militants have crossed the Lebanese border into Syria in the second phase of a repatriation that aid groups say lacks transparency and offers few guarantees about the returnees’ welfare.

The returnees, among them up to 350 militants who had lived near the Lebanese border town of Arsal, were escorted on Monday by Hezbollah, the powerful armed group based in Lebanon, to nearby towns in Syria’s Qalamoun region. It followed a transfer earlier this month of more than 7,000 refugees, fighters and their families to Idlib province in northern Syria, which is largely controlled by al-Qaida-inspired groups.

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