Stranded Syrian teenager dies on Lebanese-Syria border
Identified as Zainab Mohammed Al-Ibrahim, the Lebanese Civil Defence said that the girl's body was transported to the Elias Hrawi Government Hospital in the eastern Lebanese city of Zahle.
Zainab was one of dozens of Syrians who have been trapped on the Lebanese-Syrian border near the Masnaa crossing in the past two months, unable to return to Syria due to an extortionate regulation enforced by the Syrian regime.
In July, the Assad regime imposed a regulation making it obligatory for every Syrian wanting to return from abroad to exchange $100 US dollars into Syrian liras at the crossing. The exchange rate offered is only one-quarter of the black-market rate.
Lebanon currently hosts a Syrian refugee population of 1.5 million, many of whom live in extreme poverty and suffer from systematic racial discrimination.
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An increasing number of refugees have tried to return to Syria after the August 4 Beirut explosion, which left many of them homeless and caused others to lose their jobs.
Syrian refugees who do not have $100 to exchange at the regime's artificially low rate end up trapped at the Syria border because Lebanese authorities prohibit them from returning to Lebanon once they have arrived there.
The Syrian regime's decision to force Syrians living abroad to exchange $100 at unfavourable rates upon entering the country has been met with outrage by Syrians, particularly as many refugees are unable to obtain the sum.
However, the Assad regime has reaffirmed that the requirement remains, with Finance Minister Kenan Yaghi recently stating: "There has been no official decision yet to cancel the requirement for Syrians coming from abroad to exchange $100 US dollars."
The head of the regime's Immigration and Passports Authority, General Naji Al-Namir, recently told Ninar TV, "Our orders are to send anyone who doesn't have $100 back to where they came from, but the Lebanese side does not accept the return of Syrians.
"Therefore, those Syrians who do not have the required amount have only one option, and that is to call their friends or family to bring $100 for the exchange, in order for them to enter Syria."