Syrian refugee children play in a tented settlement in the town of Qab Elias, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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"Russia is not a negotiator ... it bombed us, children and charities".His comments echoed that of many Syrians in Jordan and Lebanon concerned about a Russian initiative to return refugees to homes back in Syria without security assurances. Eager to show a normalizing situation in Syria, Russia has stepped up efforts to encourage regional host countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees.The Lebanese foreign minister has accused the U.N. refugee agency of discouraging refugees from returning, an accusation it rejects.Ibrahim al-Khalaf, 31, a Syrian refugee from the northeast Syria governorate of Hassakeh, said he doesn't feel it is safe to return.Mohammad Hawari, a spokesman for the U.N.'s refugee agency, said his organization, while welcoming an end to the Syrian crisis, has a long list of conditions before encouraging refugees to return. The UNHCR has insisted it will not allow Syrians to be forcibly returned.
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