Lebanon tightens control over Syrian refugees amid increased tension

The Lebanese government on Wednesday tightened regulations on Syrian refugees as tension between the displaced and the local Lebanese continues to grow.

A statement released by the Lebanese Council of Ministers said the “refugee status” will be officially canceled for those who left the Lebanese territory, calling security services to “strictly pursue violators and prevent the illegal entry of Syrians to Lebanon.”

The cabinet also asked the Interior Ministry and Social Affairs Ministry to register the newborns of Syrians in Lebanon, and the Labor Ministry was tasked with tightening monitor to make sure that the refugees only work in permitted sectors.

The cabinet made the decisions as the country faced an unprecedented financial crisis, further exacerbated by the presence of over 2 million Syrian refugees.

“Tension among Lebanese citizens and the Syrian refugees has reached its highest levels, and we are now in a dangerous place,” Lebanon’s Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab said on Wednesday when meeting with Italian ambassador to Lebanon Nicoletta Bombardiere.

“The situation requires a radical change in the European Union’s policy on the issue of the displaced and a speedy solution to the issue in a different way,” Saab was quoted by the National News Agency as saying. ■

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