Kerry determines ISIS is engaged in genocide in Iraq and Syria


Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Thursday determined that the Islamic State group is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, as he acted to meet a congressional deadline.

Kerry’s finding does not obligate the United States to take additional action against IS militants and does not prejudge any prosecution against its members.

A day after the State Department said Kerry would miss the deadline, Kerry said he had completed his review and determined that Christians, Yazidis, and Shiite groups are victims of genocide and crimes against humanity by ISIS militants.


What are the practical implications of this? Since the Secretary of State had to follow some sort of process to reach this determination, it seems there should be some sort of juridical consequences that result, but the article seems to imply it is just symbolic.


Maybe a little more than symbolic; perhaps the designation of genocide would have been more cause for concrete action:

“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.”

Maybe this will help Christians be accepted with more priority per immigration.


My understanding is that once a genocide is declared we are legally bound to intervene and stop it.


Unfortunately not.


This is what I think too; either the UN or US must act. Something of this nature. It violates the Geneva Convention. Genocide is defined as more than just killing people, it could be “milder” in the sense, that say, you deprive persons of their livelihood.


All of these people and more declared genocide was happening in Darfur, Sudan:

The United States Congress (House Concurrent Resolution 467), 22 June 2004, passed 422-0 in the House and by unanimous voice vote in the Senate, declaring state-sponsored genocide by the proxy militias known as Janjaweed. Therefore, each member of the 108th United States Congress has technically declared that the situation in Darfur is a genocide. All but three members of the 109th United States Congress voted in favor of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, a law signed by President Bush in October 2006 that restated the findings of genocide. Additional individual statements by members of the US Congress are noted below.[28][29]
US Sen. Russell Feingold, 22 July 2004[30]
US Secretary of State Colin Powell, 9 September 2004[31]
US President George W. Bush, 9 September 2004[32] Restated declaration in June 2005[33] and in a meeting with activists from the Save Darfur Coalition, 28 April 2006[34]
Jewish World Watch, 16 September 2004, in a sermon by Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis.
US Sen. John Kerry, prior to 16 September 2004[35]
Anti-Defamation League[36]
US Sen. Joseph Lieberman, 2 March 2005[37]
Armenian Assembly of America, 2 March 2005[38]
US Sen. and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, 15 April 2005[39]
American Jewish Committee, 6 May 2005[40]
Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, July 2005[41]
US Sen. Barack Obama, 22 July 2005[42]


Did this happen before or after the House passed their resolution?


After; but Kerry is merely the Secretary of State; which has weight but may not sway things enough.

ISIS is a renegade outfit, if a government acts up, sanctions can be placed on them. I’m not positively sure what can be done to a group like ISIS.


The only implication is increased attention to the plight of Christians in ISIS controlled territory. The Geneva Conventions were designed for states not rebel groups.

Also, I can see how it was difficult for the current administration to make this determination of genocide. ISIS and those groups associated with Islamism are killing more Muslims than Christians. As far as I could gather, there are about 1-2 million Christians within the reach of radical groups that hold territory, but probably far less in the territory which ISIS actually controls. The KOC only documented 1,100 Christian deaths. I’m sure the DOS knows about many more than that. But the fact remains that the resolution has no teeth.


I believe after.


this has to be a step in the right direction. does Obama also have to make the declaration?


Least we are on the same page with the rest of the world at the moment. Its a start. :slight_smile:


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