Thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria have applied for resettlement in the United States, a UN refugee agency official in the Syrian capital said Wednesday.
Laurens Jolles, head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office in Damascus, said the office has registered some 140,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria, where the bulk of Iraqis fled to escape the violence in their war-ravaged homeland.
Jolles, a Dutchmen, told The Associated Press that 6,700 of them applied this year for resettlement, including 4,662 seeking to resettle in the US
Syria is home to 1.5 million Iraqi refugees and says their influx has strained its education, health and housing systems, pushing the government to tighten visa requirements and to call for international assistance.
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