National Security Desk / March 14, 2016

How Close Is U.S. to Declaring ISIL’s Genocide?

Such a declaration would mean the U.S. would have legal obligations.

The pressure is on the Obama administration to label the Islamic State’s violence against Iraqi and Syrian Christians genocide. Per a congressional deadline, Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to announce a decision by March 17 about declaring the group guilty of wiping out groups based on their religions. It comes as 200 bipartisan lawmakers in the House backed a resolution declaring that the group has hunted members of not just Christianity, but of the Yazidi religion. Such a declaration would mean the U.S. would have legal obligations. For example, it would allow more Christian refugees fleeing the group’s genocidal spread to settle in the United States — something the Obama administration has been outrageously slow to do thus far, while at the same time doing nothing to stop the Islamic Trojan horse from entry.

Lest we forget this isn’t political posturing, the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians released a report detailing the torture, extortion and murder Christians experience at the hands of the Islamic State. The 278-page report, complied with a legal brief and the statements of 44 Iraqis, was submitted to the State Department.

The timing of this report, and the movement toward finally labelling the destruction of ISIL, couldn’t come at a better time. Such a declaration would add energy to the fight against this jihadi threat, and it comes as an Islamic State defector revealed the names and data of 22,000 of its members. With this information, the countries fighting the Islamic State can do everything from stamping out homegrown terrorism to pinpointing drones to conduct assassination strikes of the group’s top leaders. After months of half-hearted bombing runs and vows of no boots on the ground, it appears the West has the tools to bring the group to its knees.

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