Nine Syrians freeze to death while crossing to Lebanon

Nine Syrians freeze to death while crossing to Lebanon

Nine Syrians freeze to death while crossing to Lebanon

Updated 20 January 2018, 8:25 AEDT

Syrians fleeing war in their country freeze to death when an icy storm hits a smuggling route in the mountains near a border post with Syria as they cross into Lebanon.

Nine Syrians froze to death crossing into Lebanon when an icy storm hit a smuggling route in the mountains near a border post with Syria.

The Lebanese Army said in a statement on Friday it rescued six others from near the Masnaa border crossing, one of whom later died in hospital.

The army arrested two Syrians on smuggling charges and is still searching for others lost in the snow.

Two children were among the nine refugees who died.

Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan have now all closed their border crossings to Syrian refugees.

Syrians wishing to enter Lebanon must prove to Lebanese authorities they have reason to be in Lebanon, such as property ownership, an embassy appointment, or a residency permit.

For many Syrians fleeing war in their country, securing residency or work permits is impossible.

Many are in Lebanon illegally and face arrest if discovered.

Lebanon took in around 1.5 million Syrian refugees at the height of Syria's conflict, now in its seventh year.

Reuters