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US to admit 1,500 Syrian refugees by end of September

More than 17,000 Syrian refugee referrals from UN received by US in 2015, just 1,500 granted, says State Dept.

US to admit 1,500 Syrian refugees by end of September


 A total of 1,500 Syrian refugees will be granted permanent resettlement in U.S by the end of September, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

Though the U.S. hasn’t set any specific targets for countries, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said he expected the number of Syrian refugees "to increase for 2016".

Toner noted that U.S. was "the largest provider of humanitarian assistance, providing humanitarian assistance and protection to these asylum-seekers" and has provided more than $4 billion in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey and in other countries since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

The U.S has received more than 17,000 Syrian refugee referrals from the United Nations Refugee Agency in 2015, he said, but has admitted only 1,500 of them.

The announcement comes amid a growing refugee and migrant crisis in Europe where those fleeing conflicts and desperate conditions have been forced to cross the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe.

The number of refugees and migrants fleeing the Middle East and Africa who have used Libya as a gateway to Europe has exceeded 300,000 in the first seven months of the year, including almost 200,000 who have landed in Greece and 110,000 in Italy, according to the UN.

Approximately 2,500 migrants or refugees have died or gone missing this year, while trying to reach Europe.

As of August 25, Turkey has hosted approximately 1.93 million Syrian refugees around the country, including 217,000 in 22 camps, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

The Turkish Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, or AFAD, says the country has spent nearly $6 billion on Syrian citizens.

The total number of the Syrian refugees worldwide exceeds 4 million.

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