BEIRUT, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese Army Command said in a statement on Thursday that the army has stopped 1,000 Syrians from illegally entering Lebanon since the beginning of this week.
"Within the framework of combating people smuggling across land borders, army units thwarted, on various dates during the current week, attempts to infiltrate about 1,000 Syrians into Lebanon," said the statement.
The army added that it has prevented thousands of Syrians from informally entering Lebanese territories over the past weeks.
Lebanese authorities have been calling for support from the international community to return Syrian refugees to their homeland while the security forces have been trying to crack down on human smuggling in areas close to the border with Syria.
With an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees residing within its borders, Lebanon bears the weight of hosting the largest number of refugees per capita. The presence of Syrian refugees has put a strain on Lebanon's already ailing economy and created widespread discontent among its citizens. ■