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The Los Angeles Times -- Paul Richter

The U.S. government intends to dramatically accelerate efforts to resettle refugees from the Syrian civil war and is preparing for a "surge" of thousands in each of the next few years, State Department officials announced this week.

They have some catching up to do: The United States has so far accepted only 300 of the more than 3.2 million refugees who have fled Syria since the war began almost four years ago.

The United States is the world leader in refugee resettlement, accepting 70,000 displaced people a year, more than all other countries combined. It's poured $3 billion into supporting the Syrian refugees who have spilled into camps and cities in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and other neighboring countries.

But the U.S. has come under criticism from aid groups for its pace in taking in refugees from the Syrian war, which is by far the largest refugee crisis of recent years.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times

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Updated: Thu, Dec 25th 2014 @ 11:40am EST