The aunt of a Syrian boy whose lifeless body was photographed on a Turkish beach, sparking worldwide outrage at the refugee crisis, said she hopes her family members will be in Canada by Christmas.

Tima Kurdi said on Friday that Canada has approved her application to bring her brother, Mohammed, and his family to Canada, but security checks were still under way.

"It will happen ... they will bring them," Kurdi told the Canadian broadcaster CBC from her home in Port Coquitlam, just east of Vancouver.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesman Remi Lariviere would only confirm the department has communicated with the Kurdi family. "We can confirm that the processing of their application is proceeding well."


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Mohammed Kurdi is the uncle of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned along with his five-year-old brother and their mother while crossing the treacherous waters from Turkey to Greece. 

Aylan's father, Abdullah, was one of the few who survived after their overloaded boat capsized.

A photo of Aylan's body after it washed up on a beach in early September ignited international momentum to help Syrian refugees.

Tima Kurdi's original application to bring Mohammed and his family to Canada was rejected. She said that led to her other brother, Abdullah, losing hope that he would be allowed into Canada, prompting him to make the dangerous journey with his family out of Syria.

Abdullah said he is finding solace in helping refugee children in northern Iraq where he now lives, and is no longer interested in coming to Canada.

"I was angry at their government, but now … my hard feelings are gone," Abdullah told CBC.

Earlier this week, recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government will attempt to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees over the coming months.

Source: Agencies