ABC News

The US Government Just Officially Called What ISIS Is Doing 'Genocide'


On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the US government is officially designating the atrocities committed by ISIS as "genocide."

Speaking from the State Department briefing room, Kerry said,

This declaration followed a resolution passed by the House of Representatives on Monday aiming to pressure the Obama administration to label ISIS's killings of Yazidis, Christians and other ethnic groups in Syria and Iraq as "genocide," CNN reports.

This is the first time the US government officially declared genocide since Darfur in 2004.

The term "genocide" is not thrown around lightly. In many cases, such as the Armenian Genocide, there is a great deal of reluctance from the US government to declare a genocide in an official capacity. There are strong legal implications surrounding the word, but using it doesn't necessarily require action.

Still, it's conceivable this announcement could put more pressure on the US government to ramp up its efforts against ISIS. But, it's still very unclear what consequences this declaration will have in the long run.

Citations: ISIS Has Committed Genocide, Obama Administration Declares (ABC News), John Kerry: ISIS responsible for genocide (CNN)