Canada opens doors to 13,000 Syrian, Iraqi refugees

OTTAWA. KAZINFORM - Canada has agreed to resettle another 10,000 Syrian and 3,000 Iraqi refugees over the next three years in response to a UN plea for help, Al Arabiya reported citing the immigration minister.

This meets 10 percent of the latest UN refugee agency's appeal for help resettling people fleeing violence in the two countries.

According to a report released earlier by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of Syrian refugees has outstripped Afghans as the largest displaced population in need of protection.

"Syrians and Iraqis face the worst forms of violence in the world today," said Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, pointing to the Islamic Group's "murderous rampage across Syria and Iraq and (its) systematic killing of anyone who does not adhere to their distorted version of Islam."

Millions have been displaced by escalating violence.

Since 2009, Canada has welcomed 20,000 Iraqi refugees. More than 1,000 Syrian refugees have also landed on Canadian shores since the start of a Syrian civil war in 2011, Kazinform refers to

The opposition, however, has criticized the government for being slow to act and for not taking in more refugees from the region.

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