US recognition of ISIL's "international crimes" an "important step": UN

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Ján Kubiš, Special Representative the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) addresses the press. UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

Official recognition by the government of the United States that atrocities committed by the terrorist group ISIL amount to genocide and crimes against humanity, has been welcomed by the UN.

The UN Secretary-General's representative in Iraq, Ján Kubiš, said that it was an "important step" and called on other members of the international community to recognize the full extent of ISIL's crimes.

Matthew Wells has more.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that ISIL was committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis, Shiite Muslims and others, inside the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq.

Mr Kubiš said in a statement that Mr Kerry's words, together with the support of the US Congress, would help ensure that ISIL fighters would be "held accountable" for the "atrocious crimes they have perpetrated" against the people of Iraq.

He pointed out that in talking about "international crimes" in relation to the terror group, that included war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as genocide.

He stressed that more governments needed to take "concrete action" to recognize the full-extent of ISIL's crimes and bring its members to justice based on evidence, in the years ahead.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 44″

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