(MENAFN- Qatar News Agency) Washington March 17 (QNA)- US Secretary of State John Kerry will miss a Thursday deadline set by the US Congress to formally determine whether ISIS has committed genocide againstChristians Yazidis and other minoritiesin Iraq and Syria.
"Given the scope and the breadth of the analysis he's contemplating he will not have a final decision completed by the congressionally mandate deadline tomorrow" State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday. "He is not at a point yet where he feels that he has all the information all the evidence he needs to make the decision he needs to make." The US House of Representatives on Monday voted unanimously to press the Obama administration to label ISIS crimes genocide war crimes and crimes against humanity. It gave Kerry the Thursday deadline for the administration to agree.
"Acknowledging that genocide or crimes against humanity have taken place in another country would not necessarily result in any particular legal obligation for the United States" Toner said.But it could give Congress a tool to further pressure the White House into take increased military action against the group.
The US has only once formally declared a genocide in 2004 when President George W. Bush gave Sudan's campaign against Darfur that designation.
Genocide was defined in the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention."Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part a national ethnical racial or religious group as such :"(a) Killing members of the group;(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group" Article II of the Convention says. (QNA)