[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] on Monday unanimously passed [roll call] a resolution [text, PDF] denouncing the actions of the Islamic State (IS) as “genocide” and calling for the establishment of international and domestic tribunals by UN member states. The resolution stressed that attacks on religious and ethnic minorities have been conducted with the intent to eradicate, displace and destroy these groups in “violation of local laws, the laws of war, laws and treaties that punish crimes against humanity, and the [UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide]” The resolution also commended governments that have taken in refugees fleeing from such persecution and urged the prosecution of those responsible.
IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and ISIS, has been accused of committing war crimes on a massive scale in Iraq and Syria. In November IS claimed responsibility [JURIST report] for a series of coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 120 individuals. That same month, US President Barack Obama ordered [JURIST report] an assessment of whether intelligence reports from US Central Command were changed before formal submission to present a more optimistic picture of the American military campaign against the IS. In September members of Iraq’s Yazidi community met with International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and urged the court to open a genocide investigation [JURIST report] into IS actions in Northern Iraq. Also in September France launched its first airstrikes [JURIST report] against an IS training camp in Syria and acknowledged that combating IS is now the main objective in both Iraq and Syria.