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Sydney-based Syrian refugee urges caution in admitting migrants -

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MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Some victims of the Syrian conflict have already made it to Australia.

Katia Alsommoh and her husband fled their home last year and now live in Western Sydney.

She agrees Christians and other religious minorities should be offered help first.

And she's warned Australia must be careful about who it lets into the country under its humanitarian program.

Lindy Kerin reports.

LINDY KERIN: It's been seven months since Katia Alsommoh arrived in Australia.

KATIA ALSOMMOH: Australia is dreamland, like I said, it's a very beautiful country. Everyone is helpful, even from people I don't know: 'If you want any help, call us, that's our number'.

LINDY KERIN: She says she's shattered about what's happening in her home country.

KATIA ALSOMMOH: Before the war, it's very beautiful. I'm a doctor, my husband is a dentist. We were working, go out, have fun. We have family, friends, everything.

But everything is changing - everything.

LINDY KERIN: Katia Alsommoh and her husband fled Syria a year ago with their passports, university degrees and a few belongings.

KATIA ALSOMMOH: We escaped at night in very dangerous road. Yeah, it was very scared. Very scared, yeah.

LINDY KERIN: And you've got brothers and sisters in Syria still?

KATIA ALSOMMOH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. My whole family in Syria. My father is a petrol engineer. He's working in a refinery. My mother at home and I have my sister and brother are engineers and my youngest brother is a doctor.

So they are in Homs now. My dad, he can't leave his work at the refinery because the government still pay the wages, so if he left the work, no money to live.

Every day there's bombed cars. Last week in Homs, my city, there was a bombed car in front of my parents' home.

LINDY KERIN: The couple lived in Lebanon for several months before they contacted family and friends in Australia.

The Syrian Orthodox Christians were granted humanitarian visas.

Katia Alsommoh says she's pleased Australia is offering help for others like her.

KATIA ALSOMMOH: Yesterday I heard we want to receive 10,000 refugees. But please Australia, be careful who are you helping, because I saw many photos of men on the Facebook, on the internet, they were with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, then they were refugees in Germany and Sweden.

No, we don't want those people to come to Australia. Please be careful.

LINDY KERIN: She says women and children, Christians and other religious minorities should be given priority.

KATIA ALSOMMOH: Sure, sure. In Syria everyone kills the Christian, so yeah, they are need the protection.

LINDY KERIN: And as the Prime Minister decides whether to expand airstrikes on IS targets in Syria, Katia has this message:

KATIA ALSOMMOH: Look at Libya, look at Iraq - is it the war is end in Libya? Five years ago?

No, I'm against the war. I think everyone in Syria is against the war, from any side.

So don't bomb the people - help the people stop the war.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: That's Katia Alsommoh, a Syrian refugee speaking at her new home in Western Sydney with Lindy Kerin.