As policy leaders continue to address a post-ISIS Iraq, one concern is the use of the term ‘genocide’ to describe ISIS’ attacks against religious minorities like Christians and Yazidis. US leaders like Senator Marco Rubio and other human rights activists have demanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clarify the US position on ISIS attacks. In addition, Rubio also called on the executive branch to provide greater direction for the State Department and USAID so their staff can better assist ISIS’ victims. Rubio contends that the US has left too much of the work to the UN.
08/08/2017 Iraq (Washington Free Beacon) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson needs to clarify whether he believes the Islamic State’s mass slaughter and persecution of Yazidis, Christians, and other minorities in Iraq will spur more U.S. action or further limit it, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and human rights activists say.
Rubio on Monday marked the third anniversary of ISIS’s assault on Yazidis and Christians in Iraq by pressing Tillerson to publicly declare whether he believes the massacre and kidnapping of these religious minorities in Iraq amounts to genocide.
He also called on President Trump to issue a presidential directive to provide “much-needed guidance to State Department and [U.S. Agency for International Development] personnel” and to stop ceding the work to the United Nations Development Fund. In addition, he called on Trump to appoint a special coordinator based in northern Iraq who can directly oversee U.S. assistance and collaborate closely with local partners and civil society groups.