UN: 1 in every 6 Syrians now a refugee

UN: 1 in every 6 Syrians now a refugee
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The United Nations announced on Thursday that the number of refugees displaced by Syria’s civil war is surging past 4 million people, or roughly a sixth of the nation’s population.

The U.N. total continues to rise as Syria’s civil war hits four years and counting, according to the BBC.

The head of the U.N. refugee agency called the flood of exiles the “worst humanitarian crisis of our generation.”

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“We despair not knowing what to do with the more and more civilians risking their lives, moving onwards,” Antonio Guterres said Thursday.

“This is a human drama,” he said. “This is a terrible situation for the region but this is becoming also something that we’ll ask Europe to fully assume its responsibilities.”

More than 7 million others have fled Syria since the start of its civil war to oust President Bashar Assad in March 2011. One million Syrian refugees have entered Turkey in the last 10 months alone.

The BBC said that Syrians also constitute a third of the 137,000 migrants who have tried entering Europe by crossing the Mediterranean during the first half of 2015.

Approximately 270,000 Syrians have sought asylum in Europe, it added.

The U.N. said that the refugee crisis is the largest of its kind from a single conflict in almost 25 years. The agency estimates that helping the current total of Syrian refugees will cost $5.5 billion this year.

Syria’s civil war has proven vexing for President Obama, who has struggled with how much legitimacy to give Assad during America’s fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and its self-styled caliphate there.

Democrats have called on Obama to allow tens of thousands of Syrian refugees to resettle in the U.S.