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Radical group hinders return of displaced Syrians to Idlib

Since the cease-fire agreement entered into force in Idlib last month, tens of thousands of internally displaced have returned to their towns in Idlib countryside, but those wishing to return are facing difficulties at the crossings run by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
A girl holds a bag as she walks near the rubble of damaged buildings in the rebel-held town of Nairab, Idlib region, Syria April 17, 2020. Picture taken April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RC2C8G95MW34

ALEPPO, Syria — The Syrian Response Coordination Group (RCG), a humanitarian nongovernmental organization assisting the displaced in northwestern Syria, issued May 4 a statement reporting the return of about 234,600 internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their towns and villages in the countrysides of Aleppo and Idlib, which are far from the contact lines with regime forces. This number was recorded between the start of the implementation of the cease-fire on March 6 and May 4.

Mohammed al-Hallaj, director of the RCG, told Al-Monitor that his group “documented 273 violations from the Syrian regime forces since the cease-fire was implemented more than a month ago. [Regime forces] have used artillery and missile shells as well as drones.”

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