A bill that would to provide emergency aid for Christians and other victims of genocide in Iraq and Syria was advanced by a Senate committee vote earlier this week, and a congressman who sponsored the legislation says the lack of action by the U.S. so far is “incomprehensible.”
House Resolution 390, also called the Iraq and Syria Relief and Accountability Act, is meant to “provide emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, to provide accountability for perpetrators of these crimes and for other purposes,” as the latest version reads online.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., passed the U.S. House in June, but had to wait until Tuesday for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote for the bill to advance out of the committee, so that it can face a floor vote.
A summary for the bill further states that if passed, it will encourage other nations to add identifying information about people suspected to have been involved in genocide. It also calls on the attorney general to identify any gaps in U.S. law “so the American justice system can prosecute foreign perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes present in the U.S.”
Smith said that Tuesday’s vote gives hope to the Chaldean Archeparchy of Erbil, which has hosted Christian victims of the Islamic State terror group for years.
“Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda has been sustaining more than 95,000 Christians who escaped ISIS — almost one third of Christians remaining in Iraq,” Smith said, according to Catholic News Agency.
“It is incomprehensible that the U.S. has not done more to help,” he added, noting that “lives are depending upon it.”
SOURCE: Stoyan Zaimov