According to Agence France-Presse, the United States will accept between 5,000 and 8,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. This is a modest number when measured on the scale of mass migration – a veritable drop in the bucket compared to the tide sweeping through Europe – but still much larger than what Americans were previously told to expect by their government. Previous statements spoke of less than 2,000 Syrian refugees this year, and an increase of only “a few thousand” in 2016.
The number may very well rise. “State Department spokesman John Kirby also said 15,000 Syrian refugees have been referred to the US for resettlement by the U.N. refugee agency,” writes AFP. “In December, Washington had said it had received 9,000 referrals from the U.N.” It is further stated that the U.S. has faced criticism for “not taking more of the estimated four million refugees fleeing the civil war that began in 2011.”
The pressure to accept more than even the 8,000 currently floated by the Administration will be great, especially since their Plan B for resolving the refugee crisis isn’t very plausible. “What we’re really committed to is helping to foster the kind of political transition inside Syria, so that it is a safe environment for Syrian people to return, including the millions that are seeking refuge in Turkey right now,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.
What sort of “safe environment” could possibly be engineered in that war-torn hellscape that would persuade these millions of refugees to return home? If the Assad regime doesn’t drop a barrel bomb on their homes, they’re getting kidnapped and murdered by ISIS and al-Qaeda, and now they have to worry about chemical weapons spewing from every corner of the conflict. FULL REPORT