This is the first formal appeal broadcast on official media. The regime recently retook large areas near Damascus, and are waging a new offensive in the south that UN officials say has displaced more than 270,000 people.
The Syrian regime on Tuesday called on refugees to return, saying it has successfully cleared large areas of "terrorists."
The rare appeal reflects the regime's growing confidence after more than seven years of war. While officials usually appeal to Syrians abroad to return during television appearances and interviews, this is the first formal appeal broadcast on official media.
Syrian regime forces, with crucial support from Russia and Iran, recently retook large areas near the capital Damascus, and are waging a new offensive in the south that UN officials say has displaced more than 270,000 people. Bashar al Assad's regime currently controls over 61 percent of Syria, compared to early 2017, when it held just 17 percent, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which closely monitors the conflict.
The regime refers to all opposition members and rebels as "terrorists."
Over 5.6 million Syrians have fled the country. The regime says many internally displaced have already returned home, urging refugees to do same.
Many Syrians are unable to return because their homes were destroyed in the fighting, or because they fear military conscription or retribution from regime forces.
Also on Tuesday, a senior UN official visited a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus that regime forces recaptured in May. The Yarmouk camp, a built-up residential area once home to tens of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians, was held by Daesh terror group and other insurgents for years, and saw heavy fighting.
"The scale of the destruction in Yarmouk compares to very little else that I have seen in many years of humanitarian work in conflict zones," said Pierre Krahenbuhl, the commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
US funding cuts
The camp, once home to 160,000 Palestinian refugees, now lies in ruins. Krahenbuhl, on a three-day visit, also met with displaced Palestinian refugees in areas around Damascus. They expressed "anxieties" about the prospects of their return and reconstruction, he said.
Krahenbuhl said US funding cuts had created "the largest ever funding shortfall in UNRWA's history." The agency has a deficit of $446 million, he said, and has since mobilised to raise $200 million through other donors. He said the priority is to keep schools around Syria open for Palestinian refugees.
UNRWA provides basic services to Palestinian refugees from what is now Israel and their descendants, who now number around 5 million and are scattered across the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.