Kerry still undecided on IS “genocide”

WASHINGTON, March 16 (KUNA) — US Secretary of State John Kerry has not yet come to a decision on whether the actions of so-called Islamic State group against Christians and other minorities can legally be called “genocide,” his spokesperson said Wednesday.
Congress gave Kerry a Thursday deadline to make his position known, but no announcement will be made by tomorrow, John Kirby told reporters.
“The secretary has urged his team here at the department, as well as the broader intelligence community and even the NGO community, to provide as much information and evidence as possible so that he can make the best decision possible. And if this has delayed the process, we believe it’s worth it,” he said.
“That’s not disrespect in any way, shape or form, to the Congressionally mandated deadline. But it’s simply to say that we feel, the Secretary feels we need more time,” he added.
Earlier this week, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed two resolutions – one on genocide, and one on war crimes carried out by IS – in the hopes that the Obama Administration would concur and act on the information.
Kerry has the final say on the matter.
Should crimes by IS against minorities be termed a genocide, the US may be obligated to take certain political and military actions on legal and moral grounds.
“We recognize that it matters whether it’s a genocide, whether it’s a crime against humanity, matters to the victims and survivors of these brutal acts,” Kirby said. (end)