News / USA

    Kerry: IS Atrocities Are Genocide

    Kerry: IS Terror Tactics Are Genocidei
    March 17, 2016 1:53 PM
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he has determined that atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS) group constitute genocide.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has determined that atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria constitute genocide.
    “My purpose in appearing before you today is to assert that in my judgment Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shi'ite Muslims," Kerry said Thursday, referring to IS by the Arabic term Daesh.

    "Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions, in what it says, in what it believes and what it does,” Kerry said. "Daesh is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases also against Sunni Muslims, Kurds and other minorities.”
    Kerry's declaration met a March 17 congressional deadline for the Obama administration to make a decision about atrocities the Islamic State group has committed against religious and ethnic minorities. Just a day earlier, Kerry had indicated that decision might take longer.

    The genocide declaration means the United States would prosecute any Islamic State member in the U.S., but it does not obligate any specific American action against the terror group in Syria or Iraq, where U.S. warplanes have been striking IS targets for months.

    Experts on international law and genocide told VOA the U.S. could bring the issue before the United Nations Security Council and human-rights bodies, which could, in turn, ask the International Criminal Court to charge members of the extremist group.
    “Ultimately the full facts must be brought to light by an independent investigation and through formal legal determination made by a competent court or tribunal, but the United States would strongly support efforts to collect document, preserve and analyze the evidence of atrocities, “ Kerry said.

    The top U.S. diplomat said he hopes the U.S. stand “will assure the victims of Daesh’s atrocities that the United States recognizes and confirms the despicable nature of the crimes that have been committed against them.”

    WATCH: Genocide Designation Could Have Several Results

    Genocide Designation Could Have Several Resultsi
    March 16, 2016 2:14 AM
    The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State John Kerry is studying the legal definition of genocide and should have a decision "soon" on whether Islamic State atrocities in Iraq and Syria fit that definition. A U.S. genocide designation against the terrorist group could set the stage for additional U.S. or international action against the group. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.

    Congressional reaction

    The genocide declaration was welcomed by the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations.  "Secretary Kerry is finally making the right call," Congressman Ed Royce said in a statement.
    Gregory Stanton, a research professor of genocide studies at George Mason University, outside Washington, is president of a group called Genocide Watch. He told VOA the U.S. is only required to prosecute Islamic State members who are found to be in the United States following the official genocide designation that Kerry made Thursday.

    The State Department says acknowledging that genocide or crimes against humanity have taken place in another country would not necessarily result in any legal obligation for the United States. However, a U.S. designation of genocide would have certain policy implications.
    "The genocide resolution does have particular meaning when it comes to migration for emergency purposes," Representative Jeff Fortenberry told VOA. "For instance, if this is declared by the State Department, you may see more prioritization given to those who are in severe threat of having their life eliminated."

    What is Genocide?

    Genocide is defined as the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

    Fortenberry represents a district in Nebraska that has a substantial population of Yazidis, a Kurdish religious group whose members in northern Iraq have been attacked and victimized by Islamic State's terror tactics.

    "When there is a systematic attempt to exterminate another group of people, Fortenberry told VOA, "it's not only an injustice, it's an assault on human dignity and therefore a threat to the civilization itself."

    The last State Department designation of genocide was in 2004, by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in response to murders and mass rapes in Sudan's Darfur region.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: Anonymous
    March 18, 2016 1:30 AM
    ISIS is an extension of who Turks really are.

    Turks are committing genocide right now, in Turkey.

    Turks are killing Kurds.

    Turks have committed genocides in the past too, millions of Christians and Yezidis.

    by: Reid Barnes
    March 17, 2016 1:00 PM
    Who were the instigators of the Syrian genocide? Wikipedia: "On 18 May 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an Executive order putting into effect sanctions against Assad in an effort to pressure his regime 'to end its use of violence against its people and begin transitioning to a democratic system that protects the rights of the Syrian people.

    '"Where are the executive orders against Saudi Arabia? And where was the congressional authorization for sanctions against Syria, not to mention for funneling weapons to Islamist fighters to "protect the rights of the Syrian people"? The Obama administration admitted in congressional testimony that it funneled over 600 tons of weapons to Islamist fighters in Syria.

    And there is a disturbing connection between what happened in Libya and the Syrian civil war. From one article(WSJ): “The utter failure of Western policy in both Libya and Syria has to be seen for what it is: not just a political blunder but a humanitarian crime.” Who were the state supporters behind the war? Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi was president? NATO, which includes Turkey, and …
    In Response

    by: annymous from: usa
    March 17, 2016 4:21 PM
    I agree about sanction against Saudi Arabia .without Saudi ,isis will not survive. America will not help those killed as the fanatic version of Islam. we have to address the issue of radical Islam for many years .

    by: Bill Wiley from: Olympia, WA
    March 17, 2016 10:08 AM
    It is about time John Kerry made up his mind on the issue of Genocide! I HATE STUPID POLITICIANS!

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