Obama orders US to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees

KONFRONTASI-US President Barack Obama has ordered his administration to prepare to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, according to the White House.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday Obama had asked staff to "scale up" the number of refugee admissions.

"He has informed his team that he would like them to make preparations to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year," Earnest said.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the United States and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 230,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over four years.

Since the start of the Syrian crisis, the United States has only accepted 1,500 refugees.

Obama’s announcement comes amidst increasing pressure for Washington to raise the number of refugees it takes in as those displaced by the war in Syria pour into Europe and other regions.

Earnest said the US could not provide sanctuary to the four million Syrians who have been displaced by violence in Syria.

"We know the scale of this problem, and it's significant, there are millions of people who have been driven from their homes because of this violence,” he added.

"What we can do is make sure we are doing anything we can to try to provide for their basic needs,” the White House spokesman stated. [mr/ptv]