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Syrian refugee family arrives in US

 The United States has taken in a Syrian refugee family as part of a program to resettle some 10,000 Syrians.

The family of seven arrived in Kansas City, Missouri early on Thursday.

Ahmad al-Abboud, who is being resettled with his wife and five children, said he is thankful to Jordan, where he has lived for three years after fleeing Syria.

Since October, only some 1,000 Syrian refugees have moved to the US from Jordan where a resettlement center opened in the capital Amman in February to interview and vet about 600 people every day.

US President Barack Obama has set a target of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees by September 30.

Gina Kassem, the regional refugee coordinator at the US Embassy in Amman, has said while the target of 10,000 applies to Syrian refugees living around the world, most will be resettled from Jordan.

“The 10,000 (figure) is a floor and not a ceiling, and it is possible to increase the number,” Kassem told reporters.

Jordan hosts about 635,000 of the more than 4.7 million Syrians who have registered with the UN refugee agency after fleeing the conflict in Syria.

The total number of Syrians in Jordan is more than 1.2 million, including those who arrived before the conflict began in 2011.

The United States has resettled only about 1,500 Syrian refugees since 2011, when the conflict began in Syria.

Washington has on different occasions been criticized for not taking more of the refugees fleeing the war-torn country.


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