BEIRUT, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Thursday that there is no information of Syrian refugees being persecuted upon their return to Syria, Lebanon's Presidency Website reported.
Aoun said that only a small percentage of Syrian refugees in Lebanon have returned to their homeland so far while most of them have stayed either to keep on receiving support from the United Nations or to pursue their work in the country.
Aoun's remarks came one week after caretaker Minister of State for Refugee Affairs, Mouin Merehbi, said that about 20 Syrian refugees were killed on their way back to Syria by regime forces.
The president said that Lebanon is in a very critical situation today because the social services offered to Syrians are not enough.
"We have social problems in schools and hospitals in addition to the high unemployment rate caused by a fierce competition of Syrian labor force in the Lebanese market, not to forget the high rates of crimes committed over Lebanese territory," he said.
Lebanon is hosting 976,000 registered Syrian refugees according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, while the government estimates the true number of Syrian refugees in the country at 1.5 million.