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Syria: Islamic State

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 27087, tabled on 11 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether Daesh are committing genocide in Syria.

Answered on

24 February 2016

The situation is desperate for many communities within Syria and Iraq. We condemn in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Daesh against Christians, Mandeans, Yezidis, and other minorities, as well as the majority Muslim population in Syria and Iraq who continue to bear the brunt of Daesh’s brutality.

It is a long-standing Government policy that any judgements on whether genocide has occurred are a matter for the international judicial system rather than governments or other non-judicial bodies. Our approach is to seek an end to all violations of International Humanitarian Law and to prevent their further escalation, irrespective of whether these violations fit the definition of specific international crimes.

Ultimately, the best way of preventing future atrocities is to defeat Daesh and its violent ideology. That’s why the UK is playing a leading role in a Global Coalition of more than 65 countries and international organisations to respond to Daesh’s inhumanity.