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Over 500,000 Syrian Refugees (Alleged to Have Fled From Assad) Return To Government-Controlled Areas Of Syria

In the badly damaged Al-Shaar neighborhood in East Aleppo, returnee families and displaced residents receive UNHCR relief assistance at a distribution point run by the Al Ihsan Charity in March 2017. PHOTO: Hameed Marouf/UNHCR

Though it has been claimed that Syria’s refugees have fled the country to get away from its leader, poll results and other statistics indicate that Syria’s president still remains wildly popular in the country. His most recent re-election saw him win a whopping 88 percent of the popular vote.

By Whitney Webb | 4 July 2017

MINT PRESS NEWS — Crucial to the Western narrative of the Syrian conflict is the assertion that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a brutal dictator who has taken to killing his own people over the course of Syria’s six-year-long conflict. This allegation has been the crux of the “humanitarian” justification for foreign military intervention in Syria that would seek to depose Assad’s government, a justification frequently used by the U.S. and its allies prior to an invasion or the toppling of an extant regime.

While this narrative has been pervasive in media coverage of the Syrian conflict, it is now being debunked by the very Syrian refugees that the media purported were fleeing Assad in the first place. According to a recent statement from Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an estimated 440,000 displaced Syrians who remained in the country have returned to their homes since the year began. In addition, 31,000 refugees in neighboring countries also returned to Syria in the first half of the year, with 260,000 having returned to Syria from other nations since 2015.

Though Mahecic noted that these refugees represent only a “fraction” of the five million Syrian refugees living in neighboring countries, what is notable is that nearly all of those who have decided to come back are settling in areas of Syria controlled by the government or where the Syrian government has made major territorial gains against ISIS and US-backed militants like al-Nusra Front  in recent months – namely Aleppo, Hama, Homs and Damascus.

Even with the conflict in Syria still raging, thousands of the displaced are eagerly returning to their homes under the control of the Syrian government. This may seem strange, as the U.S. media has long suggested that most refugees were fleeing Assad, not foreign-backed terrorists like Daesh (ISIS) and Al-Nusra. […]

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