22 Filipinos flee Syrian strife


Twenty-two Filipinos living and working in Syria are set to arrive from that conflict-torn country tonight, the first group of repatriates to be flown home by the government in the new year, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

The DFA said the Filipinos were evacuated from the city of Aleppo, the center of the violent conflict between Syrian government troops and rebel forces, and traveled via Beirut, the capital of neighboring Lebanon.

They will arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on board a Qatar Airways flight at 10:15 p.m.

Their repatriation brings to 3,310 the number of Filipinos flown home from Syria under the Philippine government’s mandatory repatriation plan since the rebellion in the Middle Eastern country escalated last year.

The DFA meanwhile has renewed its call for Filipinos in Syria to leave “as the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate.”

The DFA also called on relatives in the Philippines of Filipinos in Syria to provide the department with the location and contact details of their loved ones in the strife-ridden nation to help speed up their repatriation.

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