Secretary of State John Kerry has determined that the Islamic State group is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, according to U.S. officials, as he acted to meet a congressional deadline.
But Kerry’s finding, set to be announced Thursday, will not obligate the United States to take additional action against IS militants and does not prejudge any prosecution against its members, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly preview Kerry’s decision.
A day after the State Department said Kerry would miss the March 17 deadline, the officials said Kerry had completed his review and determined that Christians, Yazidis and Shiite groups are victims of genocide. The House this week passed a nonbinding resolution by a 393-0 vote condemning IS atrocities as genocide.
Lawmakers and others who have advocated for the finding had sharply criticized the department’s disclosure Wednesday that deadline would be missed. The officials said Kerry concluded his review just hours after that announcement and that the criticism had not affected his decision.