US President Barack Obama has hailed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's "courageous" leadership in opening doors to migrants fleeing the Syrian conflict.

"I believe that Chancellor Merkel's approach to the refugee crisis -- and that of many Germans -- has been courageous. She's demonstrated real political and moral leadership," Obama said in an interview published Saturday with German daily Bild.

"Angela has spoken of our moral obligation to people, including families and children, fleeing horrific conditions, including the barbarity of the Assad regime in Syria and ISIL (Islamic State)," Obama said.

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