Well over 4 million Syrians have fled the violence in their country. Most have found refuge in neighboring countries—-Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. But as both the security forces loyal to Bashar al Assad, and violent extremist groups such as DAESH, continue to target the civilian population, more and more people flee across the border.
Syria’s immediate neighbors already host such high numbers of refugees that the strain on their resources and communities is palpable; for example, Turkey now hosts over 2 million of the displaced, while according to the Government of Jordan, refugees now constitute over 20 percent of Jordan’s population.
So, many of the Syrians have made the difficult decision to keep moving. Thousands of people, including entire multi-generational families, are now traveling through the Balkans and into central Europe, hoping to reach a place where they can live productive and dignified lives until the killing ends in their home country.
They are seeking safe haven in the many European countries which are now in the process of deciding how many refugees they can host, and are gathering their resources to help.
The United States is also committed to maintaining a robust refugee admissions program, and is particularly aware of the needs of the Syrian refugee population. The President has determined that the administration will accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year.
In the meantime, the United States is working in support of those countries that are already hosting large number of asylum seekers from Syria, particularly Syria’s immediate neighbors. We are also sending aid to the millions of people who are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including many who are internally displaced. To date, the United States has provided over $4.1 billion in humanitarian assistance since the start of the crisis.
Most importantly, we are working through diplomatic channels toward a peaceful political resolution of Syria's conflict. Because in the end, the vast majority of the refugees would someday like to return home.
“What has to happen eventually,” said State Department Spokesperson John Kirby, “is a political transition in Syria so that the Syrian people can have a home which is safe and secure.”