For close to two weeks, tens of thousands of Syrians have been lining up at the border, anxious to return to liberated areas in Syria, with some saying they're returning for good.

Syrian families return to Syria for Eid cross the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate located opposite the Syrian crossing point of Bab al Hawa in Reyhanli, southern Hatay province, Turkey, on June 14, 2017.
Syrian families return to Syria for Eid cross the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate located opposite the Syrian crossing point of Bab al Hawa in Reyhanli, southern Hatay province, Turkey, on June 14, 2017.

Thousands of Syrians headed back over the Turkish border to Syria following an announcement by the Turkish government that it will give Syrians the right to return if they want to go home and celebrate Eid.

However, some Syrians have opted to return home for good.

For close to two weeks, tens of thousands of people have been lining up at the border, anxious to return to liberated areas in Syria.

Most have waited for hours at the Cilvegozu border gate in Reyhanli, in southern Hatay province.

Syrian families returning to Syria for Eid cross the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate located opposite the Syrian crossing point of Bab al Hawa in Reyhanli, southern Hatay province, Turkey, on June 14, 2017. (Reuters)
Syrian families returning to Syria for Eid cross the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate located opposite the Syrian crossing point of Bab al Hawa in Reyhanli, southern Hatay province, Turkey, on June 14, 2017. (Reuters)

Customs officials say approximately 111,000 Syrians crossed as of Tuesday last week, and more than 10 percent have left their temporary Turkish resident cards behind, indicating they do not intend to return.

Turkey closed its border with Syria two years ago, except for special cases such as emergency medical care.

Border security was further tightened after a 2016 deal with the European Union to stop the illegal flow of migrants.

So, for many of the three million Syrian refugees in Turkey, this will be the first time they are able to go "home" in two years.

Raqqa

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advanced against Daesh in its de facto capital, Raqqa, on Sunday, taking the Al Qadisia district.

The SDF began its assault on Raqqa earlier this month after a long campaign to isolate Daesh inside the city.

It took Al Qadisia, located in the west of Raqqa, after three days of intense fighting, it said in a statement on one of its official social media feeds.

The SDF has pushed Daesh from swathes of northern Syria over the past 18 months.

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have also taken territory and the Syrian regime army has this year advanced rapidly against Daesh in desert areas.

An anti-Daesh militant escorts former Daesh prisoners in a village near Raqqa on June 24, 2017 after they were pardoned by a council that is expected to govern Raqqa once Daesh is dislodged from the city. (Reuters)
An anti-Daesh militant escorts former Daesh prisoners in a village near Raqqa on June 24, 2017 after they were pardoned by a council that is expected to govern Raqqa once Daesh is dislodged from the city. (Reuters)

The US-backed coalition has supported SDF advances against the militant group throughout the Raqqa campaign with artillery and air strikes, including some against Daesh leaders.

This month, the coalition said its air strikes had killed Turki Binali, a Bahraini cleric who was the group's top religious authority and the most senior known Gulf Arab in Daesh.

It also said last week it killed Fawaz al Rawi, who it said was an important Daesh financier, in an air strike in Syria.

However, coalition air raids have also caused large numbers of civilian casualties, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.

It said on Saturday that coalition air strikes in and around Raqqa had killed nearly 700 civilians so far this year.

The coalition says it works hard to avoid killing civilians and investigates all reports against it.

An "unacceptable breach" of sovereignty

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday Israel will not tolerate any attack on its territory from Syria and pledged harsh retaliation a day after the Israeli air force responded to stray rocket fire which hit part of its territory.

Netanyahu said the attacks were unacceptable.

"Our policy is clear: We will not tolerate any spillover of any kind, not mortars, not rockets, or any fire trickle from any front. We will respond strongly to any attack on our territory or our citizens."

Israeli military described Syria's shellfire as errant and called it an "unacceptable breach" of sovereignty.

Israeli forces fired on Syrian regime positions after projectiles from the war-torn country hit the occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, the army said, in the second such exchange in two days.

Assad leads prayers

Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad led Eid prayers in the central city of Hama on Sunday, appearing in public outside the capital for the first time in a year.

Assad's office published images of him praying inside the brightly-lit Al Nuri Mosque at dawn on Sunday before greeting worshippers outside.

He was flanked by regime minister Mohammad Abdel-Sattar Sayyed and Syria's top cleric Ahmad Badredine Hassoun.

Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad (2nd L) on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid in a mosque in Hama, Syria, June 25, 2017. (SANA via Reuters)
Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad (2nd L) on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid in a mosque in Hama, Syria, June 25, 2017. (SANA via Reuters)
Source: TRTWorld and agencies