WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the announcement by the Secretary of State that ISIS’s atrocities against Christians, Yazidis, and Shiites constitute genocide:

“The Administration is doing the right thing by calling the atrocities being carried out by ISIS what they are: genocide.  ISIS terrorists are responsible for a deliberate effort to wipe out Christians, Yazidis, and Shiites specifically because of who they are.

“History has shown us too many times the horrible cost of genocide, which is why all governments around the world have an obligation to act when this horrible crime occurs. We cannot allow genocide to go unpunished in the 21st century.  The United States has led a coalition of 66 countries aimed at stopping ISIS.  We have made some progress, and we need to stay focused on hitting ISIS targets to roll back the terror group’s campaign of destruction.

“But we shouldn’t forget that the root cause of ISIS and its violence is the Assad regime. The Syrian government has killed thousands of its own citizens and will continue to butcher innocent individuals unless a political solution is found.”