US admits 12,000 Iraqi refugees since last year

Other News Materials 13 September 2008 00:13 (UTC +04:00)

The United States has admitted more than 12,000 Iraqi refugees in the last eleven months, surpassing a goal set following criticism it responded too slowly to resettle Iraqis who fled the violence, reported dpa.

The US State Department said Friday that 12,118 Iraqis have been admitted to the United States since October, and hundreds more have received special immigrant visas.

Iraqis began fleeing by the thousands in 2006 and 2007 as sectarian and terrorist violence in the country peaked. Most of them headed to Syria.

The US government began expediting the process for bringing them to the United States but sought to ensure they did not pose a security risk.