Kerry not yet sure whether there is religious genocide in Middle East, needs to assess further

Kerry not yet sure whether there is religious genocide in Middle East, needs to assess further

Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Assistance today that he is having an “additional evaluation” done to help him determine whether the systematic murder of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East—at the hands of the Islamic State and others—should be declared “genocide.”

“I will make a decision on it as soon as I have that additional evaluation and we will proceed forward from there,” Kerry said.

Kerry was responding to a question put to him by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R.-Neb.), who is the sponsor of a resolution that would declare on behalf of Congress that it is in fact genocide.

The resolution expresses “the sense of Congress that those who commit or support atrocities against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities, including Yezidis, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka‘e, and Kurds, and who target them specifically for ethnic or religious reasons, are committing, and are hereby declared to be committing, ‘war crimes,’ ‘crimes against humanity,’ and ‘genocide.’”

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