Minister says 450,000 refugees returned to Syria

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Syrian children stand behind a fence at a refugee camp in the Kilis district of Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, on October 23, 2016. France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has said over 3 million Syrian refugees are living in Turkey and 450,000 have returned home, the Sabah daily reported on Saturday.

Speaking to directors of the immigration authority from Turkey’s 81 provinces in Ankara on Friday, Soylu said some 4 million refugees comprising 3,069,963 Syrians, 207,000 Iraqis and 133,000 Afghans had taken shelter in Turkey.

“Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, about 450,000 Syrians including 23,215 who were extradited by us [the Turkish government] due to their crimes in Turkey have returned to Syria.” said Soylu.

According to Soylu, the number of Syrians who return to their homes will increase as the Turkish military liberates some areas of Syria.

Soylu also warned the directors about tension between Turks and Syrians that led to incidents across the country.

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