AMO Says The State Department Must Recognize ISIS Genocide Against Assyrian Christians

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AMO joins other organizations in call on Secretary of State John F. Kerry to state that ISIS’ killing of Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria amounts to genocide. The State Department must include the Assyrian Christians of Iraq and Syria among those people who ISIS clearly intends to obliterate.

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ISIS’ killing of Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria [also] amounts to genocide. The State Department must include the Assyrian Christians of Iraq and Syria among those people who ISIS clearly intends to obliterate.

In response to a State Department investigation of ISIS’ genocidal crimes in Iraq and Syria, the Philos Project has launched an initiative calling on Secretary of State John F. Kerry and the State Department to fully and unequivocally recognize the so-called Islamic State’s unmistakable campaign of genocide against Assyrian Christians in that region.

This effort, which is supported by the American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO), Assyrian Aid Society of America and the Iraqi Christian Relief Council is aimed at expanding the State Department’s current consideration of genocide which currently includes only the Yezidi peoples of Iraq.

Andrews Kurth, LLP, prepared a detailed and in-depth letter for the Philos Project which clearly establishes that ISIS’ pattern of abuse, torture and murder against Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria meets all the criteria for genocide as laid out by the United Nations.

“First,” said Mr. David William Lazar, Chairman of AMO, “We want to thank the Philos Project for initiating this effort, and the Assyrian Aid Society of America and the Iraqi Christian Relief Council for supporting it. For some time we all have known that the State Department has been considering whether ISIS’ attacks on the Yezidi peoples of Iraq constitute genocide - and we applaud this consideration.”

“But without question,” Mr. Lazar continued, “ISIS’ killing of Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria also amounts to genocide. The State Department must include the Assyrian Christians of Iraq and Syria among those people who ISIS clearly intends to obliterate.”

The nearly 40 page letter, addressed directly to Secretary of State John F. Kerry, details not only ISIS’ destruction of Assyrian Christians churches and historical sites, but also lays bare many examples of ISIS atrocities against Assyrians in Iraq and Syria - all of which, the letter notes, is plainly intended to eradicate Assyrians and Christians from the Middle East.

“In a clear and unified voice,” said Mr. Lazar, “AMO joins the Philos Project in calling on the Secretary of State and the State Department to declare the obvious: ISIS has unleashed a campaign of genocide against the Assyrian people and intends to wipe Assyrian Christians from the Middle East.”

“Pursuant to this declaration," Mr. Lazar concluded, "AMO demands that the United States and the international community step forward, put a stop to ISIS’ genocide against the Assyrian Christians, and protect them by means of self-governed, semi autonomous safe zones in Iraq and Syria. Anything short of this is a death sentence for the Assyrian people.”

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David William Lazar

Jeff Gardner