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Sep 09 2018

Over 250,000 Syrian refugees have returned home in 2 years, says Interior Ministry

In the past two years, a total of 255,300 Syrian refugees returned to their homes, according to the Interior Ministry of Turkey, which is home to 3.5 million Syrian refugees, independent news site T24 reported.

Approximately 160,000 of them returned to their homes in the Euphrates shield zone following Turkey’s 2016 operation, according to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. Turkish-led forces captured parts of northern Syria from ISIS in 2016 in an offensive it called Operation Euphrates Shield with Turkish troops remaining inside territories of the offensive.

Soylu noted there is a major contradiction in what great powers say and do regarding the refugee crisis, stressing that Turkey has set itself apart from other countries.

‘’In the year 2015, the number of migrants illegally entering Greece through our western borders was 6800 per day. This number is now 79,’’ Soylu said.

In 2016, Turkey struck a deal with the European Union to stem migration flows which requires that migrants and refugees reaching the Greek islands remain there until their asylum requests have been processed, a system that is notoriously slow. The land border is not covered by this agreement, and the crossing is also less dangerous.