But Obama faced a barrage of pressure from at least 22 Republican-led states, GOP presidential candidates, key members of Congress, and in one case a Democratic governor to suspend a program to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees on US soil in 2016.

In pics: France in grief after terror attacks

In the United States, several Republican presidential hopefuls including Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio said outright that America must not take in Syrian refugees because they might include Islamic State (IS) militants.

"Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees -- any one of whom could be connected to terrorism -- being resettled in Texas," Governor Greg Abbott of the large southern state wrote yesterday in a letter to Obama.

"I will do everything humanly possible to stop any plans from the Obama administration to put Syrian refugees in Mississippi," added that state's governor, Phil Bryant. Obama's policy of welcoming such individuals 'is not only misguided, it is extremely dangerous,' he said.

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