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Syria refugee crisis: U.S. opens centres to speed vetting

Screening outposts to be set up in Iraq, Lebanon as U.S. urges Arab nations to do more

The Associated Press Posted: Nov 06, 2015 7:33 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 07, 2015 7:55 AM ET

Refugees and migrants arrive from the island of Lesbos to the port of Piraeus on Friday. About 25,000 refugees and other migrants are heading to the Greek mainland from the eastern Aegean islands after the country's seamen's union called off rolling, 48-hour ferry strikes.

Refugees and migrants arrive from the island of Lesbos to the port of Piraeus on Friday. About 25,000 refugees and other migrants are heading to the Greek mainland from the eastern Aegean islands after the country's seamen's union called off rolling, 48-hour ferry strikes. (Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press)

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The Obama administration is moving to increase and accelerate the number of Syrian refugees who might be admitted into the United States by opening new screening outposts in Iraq and Lebanon, administration officials told Reuters on Friday.

The move comes after President Barack Obama pledged in September to admit an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016, torn by four years of civil war and disorder.

The U.S. State Department confirmed the plans to open a refugee settlement processing centre in Erbil, Iraq, before the end of 2015, and to resume refugee processing in Lebanon in early 2016, said spokeswoman Danna Van Brandt.

The White House would not say how many additional refugees it may take in beyond the 10,000, but two senior administration officials said they are seeking ways to increase the number.

Suitable for resettlement

"We want to be in a place where we can push out really ambitious goals," said one of the officials, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

The State Department runs nine screening centres worldwide that serve as meeting points for refugees and U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees who have to decide who is suitable for resettlement in the United States.

The additional centres will double the number available to refugees in the Middle East.

Most Syrians are now screened for potential U.S. resettlement at centres in Istanbul and Amman, Jordan. The new centres are designed to "increase the channels" the United States has for reaching Syrian refugees, the official said.

Amid a tide of refugees in Europe, some congressional Democrats and refugee advocates say the United States should do more for Syrians who often make dangerous journeys to lands where they have no home or means of employment.

However, some Republicans have raised concerns that allowing more Syrians into the United States jeopardizes national security.

Arab, BRIC nations urged to do more

In another development, Anne Richard, U.S. assistant secretary of state, told C-SPAN's Newsmakers program on Friday that wealthy Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as the so-called BRICs emerging market nations should do more to help Syrian refugee.

"I would like to see more aid come from the Gulf states that are in the Middle East area and are relatively wealthy compared to Jordan and Lebanon," she said.  "We would also like to see more from the so-called BRICs — Brazil, Russia, India, China and, to a lesser extent South Africa," she added. "These are the wealthy states that care about the region that could and should be doing more on the humanitarian side."

About 250,000 people have died and an estimated four million driven abroad as refugees because of the Syrian conflict, which began in 2011 with protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which has evolved into a full-blown civil war. The majority of the refugees have flowed into neighbouring nations such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon but hundreds of thousands have also made their way to Europe.

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The population in Paris is unarmed, as is all of France."  DING DING DING!  Shouldn't that be ringing bells all over the place? 

Hey, my head is ringing so much I can't hear my wife...

I believe at the first sign of an attack here in the United States, Obama will call for Marshall Law. He'll then take the guns away and he will be in the White House for the duration of the Marshall Law mandate. Just my thoughts.

You are correct, BU

Hey, I wonder - could this have something to do with where our country is headed?  After all, these college students are our leaders of tomorrow.  It does not appear they are awake.

Obama is bringing in thousands of Muslims from Somalia , Congo , Iraq and now Syria and planting these potential jihadis in communities in SC , Michigan, Maine and other States with the help of several resettlement groups , some Christian , for the grant money they receive. Then they are put on government assistance , like the Chechens who bombed the Boston Marathon, and we the taxpayers are paying for it ,...our own demise. Citizens , in Spartanburg, SC are standing up against this insanity because in most cases people are not even given the chance to discuss Obama's Islamization of America. In some suburbs of  Detroit ,...Muslims now are in the majority and have forced the blarring " call to worship " over loud speakers . Anyone who speaks out against this invasion Obama's Justice Department goes after them. I heard tonight watching the coverage of the carnage in Paris , that intelligence sources in Europe estimate a minimum of 2% of the refugees are ISIS or Al Qaida trained terrorists . So, if Obama brings in 10,000 that's at least 200 trained terrorists admitted to our Country. We saw first hand on 9/11 what 15 of them could do on airplanes and now the carnage of 12 in Paris. 

NEOCON BUSH used by Zionists illegally invaded Afghanistan / Iraq , killing the leader of Libya and supporting

the violence in Syria. millions of innocent people were / are displaced living in refugee camps for 10+ years.

they are suffering, their homelands destroyed by Bush. They can not return to desolation ,...

Bush / Cheney / Blair / Wolfowitz are Criminals.

just a sample .....

ty ty ty, I knew when they got involved in the Middle East we were finished they been fighting before the BC and now were involved its is endless and we will be always broke we can't fight these pigs they never stop killing that is there dessert amen dam the Bush family bastards

better watch your back for town Militias lock and load

question. why is there a cage on top of the WH??


call Congress pass the Bill that the Muslim Brotherhood are terrorist, if it goes thru bingo there goes BO regime in the WH they are head of every department in the WH,DOJ etc: Jarrett on and on help get this Bill thru amen its our only chance



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