For About $100, Syrians Can Illegally Cross the Lebanese-Syrian Border

News Bulletin Reports
2023-09-03 | 13:49
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For About $100, Syrians Can Illegally Cross the Lebanese-Syrian Border
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3min
For About $100, Syrians Can Illegally Cross the Lebanese-Syrian Border

A rising wave of migration is being observed at the Lebanon-Syria border, particularly in the north. Unlike previous movements triggered by conflict and security concerns, this recent surge is fueled by abject poverty and an extremely volatile economic situation in Syria.

Smugglers are offering Syrian civilians an illicit path into Lebanon for approximately $100. Despite the risk of being caught and sent back by the Lebanese army, many are taking the chance—sometimes more than once. One Syrian woman successfully entered Lebanon illegally after being deported on her first attempt.

Smugglers typically transport people by foot or motorbike, crossing through the Great River or other terrestrial borders. The journey begins deep inside Syria and ends within Lebanese territory.

Struggling to Survive
Basic necessities like bread and fuel have become increasingly unaffordable for Syrian families. Prices in the free market or even the black market often exceed their financial capabilities. Some opt for illegal maritime migration, while others get caught by the army and are sent back to Syria, only to attempt the crossing again. A few have even managed to find refuge with relatives or friends in Lebanon and start working.

The Lebanese Perspective
This influx comes at a time when the local Lebanese population is increasingly vocal about the impact and burden of Syrian migration on the country. Lebanon itself is grappling with one of the worst crises in its history. In the absence of a comprehensive solution to the refugee crisis, the Lebanese army has detained thousands in the past month alone, with some reports suggesting numbers as high as 10,000.

However, some border crossings remain operational, controlled by smugglers and their contacts. These illicit pathways operate day and night, utilized by both Syrians and Lebanese.

The desperation driving this new wave of migration adds another layer of complexity to an already intricate geopolitical situation, further challenging Lebanon's capability to cope with refugee inflows amid its own internal crises.

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