Russia offers to 'help' Syrian refugees return despite own role in the war

Russia offers to 'help' Syrian refugees return despite own role in the war
After bolstering Assad's firepower against the Syrian people, Russia has offered to help refugees return to the homes that it took part in forcing them to flee from.
2 min read
18 July, 2018
Syrian regime destruction in Douma on the outskirts of Damascus [Getty]
Syrian regime ally Russia has offered to help organise the return of refugees who were forced to flee their homes.

Russia's Defence Ministry said on Wednesday it would help organise the return of Syrian refugees who fled during their country's civil war and want to go home.

It said it has created a centre for sorting and resettling refugees who fled abroad, as well as people displaced within Syria during the seven-year war.

Russia is in contact with the United Nations and the 36 countries with the most Syrian refugees, it added.

Read more: After Daraa, will Assad reconquer all of Syria?

Syrians fled for their lives amid the missiles and barrel bombs unleashed by Russian jets backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Russian announcement came after an intense overnight bombing campaign in southwest Syria in the city of Nawa, in which at least 19 people were killed and a hospital destroyed.

The Syrian regime has seized control of the area that was the cradle of the uprising against Assad.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent assessments, brutal tactics pursued mainly by the Russian-backed regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians, amount to war crimes.