On March 14, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed both H. Con. Res. 75—decrying the ISIS genocide against Christians and other religious minorities—and H. Con. Res. 121—calling for a Syrian War Crimes Tribunal at the U.N.
IDC applauds Congress for making a strong statement about the atrocities that have been committed by ISIS and by parties to the conflict in Syria.
On March 15, the fifth anniversary of the conflict in Syria, IDC President Toufic Baaklini stated, “War crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide should be condemned whenever they occur. The perpetrators of these crimes should be brought to justice. IDC calls on the international community to abide by their legal obligations and to take action to stop the bloodshed occurring in Iraq and Syria.”
Baaklini added, “IDC solemnly remembers the victims of mass atrocities in Syria and calls for more robust efforts from the international community to bring to just all parties in Syria, including the government, who have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.”
Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ)—sponsor of H. Con. Res. 121—and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)—sponsor of H. Con. Res. 75—both joined House Republican Leadership, including Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Conference Chairwoman Kathy McMorris Rodgers, at a press conference today on the two bipartisan House resolutions passed last night.
Congressman Smith said that both measures go “hand in glove” and that “Article 6 of the Genocide Convention makes it clear that where there is a genocide there also needs to be prosecutions of those who commit genocide.” Smith added, “Individuals on all sides, from Assad who has committed horrific acts of brutality with barrel bombs and his Weapons of Mass of Destruction and all of the terrible things he has done, and ISIS.”
Following the press conference, Congressman Fortenberry stated, “It is my sincere hope that this trans-partisan resolution will further compel the State Department to join the building international consensus in calling the horrific ISIS violence against Christians, Yezidis, and others by its proper name: ‘genocide.’” Fortenberry added, “At a time of deep political division in our nation the House has spoken with one voice to properly recognize and condemn this genocide—a threat to civilization itself.”