Global asylum claims at highest number in 22 years as Syrians, Iraqis flee war

A new United Nations report says the world's number of asylum claims is at its highest in 22 years, with fleeing Syrians and Iraqis leading the way.

The report by the U.N. refugee agency released Thursday estimates that applications for asylum in industrialized countries reached 866,000 last year. That's up 45 percent from in 2013.

The report says Syrians fleeing their country's four-year civil war easily led the way in asylum applications last year with almost 150,000.

Iraqis made about 68,700 asylum claims. Afghans were third with about 60,000.

The U.N. says Germany received the highest number of asylum requests among industrialized countries with more than 173,000. The United States received more than 121,000. Turkey received more than 87,000.

The U.N. report is based on data from 44 industrialized countries.