US

First Syrians leave for US under surge resettlement program

  • Syrian refugee Ahmad al-Abboud waits with his family at the International Airport of Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The first Syrian family to be resettled to the U.S. under its speeded-up "surge operation" departed to the United States Wednesday from the Jordanian capital, Amman. Al-Abboud, who is being resettled with his wife and five children, said that although he is thankful to Jordan — where he has lived for three years after fleeing Syria's civil war — he is hopeful of finding a better life in the U.S. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

    Syrian refugee Ahmad al-Abboud waits with his family at the International Airport of Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The first Syrian family to be resettled to the U.S. under its speeded-up "surge operation" departed to the United States Wednesday from the Jordanian capital, Amman. Al-Abboud, who is being resettled with his wife and five children, said that although he is thankful to Jordan — where he has lived for three years after fleeing Syria's civil war — he is hopeful of finding a better life in the U.S. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice Wells checks identity technology at the International Airport of Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The temporary processing center for the surge operation will run until April 28, Wells said. She traveled to the airport to greet a Syrian refugee family before their departure.  (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

    U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice Wells checks identity technology at the International Airport of Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The temporary processing center for the surge operation will run until April 28, Wells said. She traveled to the airport to greet a Syrian refugee family before their departure. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice Wells, right, meets with Syrian refugee Ahmad al-Abboud, center, and his family at the International Airport of Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The first Syrian family to be resettled to the U.S. under its speeded-up "surge operation" departed to the United States Wednesday from the Jordanian capital, Amman. Al-Abboud, who is being resettled with his wife and five children, said that although he is thankful to Jordan — where he has lived for three years after fleeing Syria's civil war — he is hopeful of finding a better life in the U.S. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

    U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice Wells, right, meets with Syrian refugee Ahmad al-Abboud, center, and his family at the International Airport of Amman, Jordan, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The first Syrian family to be resettled to the U.S. under its speeded-up "surge operation" departed to the United States Wednesday from the Jordanian capital, Amman. Al-Abboud, who is being resettled with his wife and five children, said that although he is thankful to Jordan — where he has lived for three years after fleeing Syria's civil war — he is hopeful of finding a better life in the U.S. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)  (The Associated Press)

The first Syrian family to move to the U.S. under its speeded-up "surge" resettlement operation has left Jordan for the United States.

Ahmad al-Abboud, his wife and five children, are to leave on Wednesday for Kansas City in Missouri.

Al-Abboud says that "America is the country of freedom and democracy ... We are looking forward to have a good life there."

In February, a temporary "surge" center was built in the Jordanian capital, Amman, to speed up the resettlement process and help meet a target set by President Barack Obama to resettle some 10,000 Syrians to the United States by Sep. 30. Every day, some 600 Syrians are interviewed in the center.

Jordan hosts around 635,000 Syrians registered with the U.N. Refugee Agency after fleeing Syria's civil war.