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The resolution of the house of representatives of the United States No. 390: the possible consequences
Material posted: Publication date: 21-06-2017
Against the backdrop of ongoing military actions of the various extra - and intra-regional players are constantly taking new moves, which are often ambiguous effect on the situation. So, on the one hand, Russia, Turkey and Iran managed to launch a complex process of negotiations in Astana and at the same time to achieve the minimization of the level of armed clashes in Syria between the conflicting parties and localized actions of the "Islamic state" (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization) and its partners in Idlib province and near the city of raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.

In particular, the chief of the Main operations Directorate of the General staff Colonel-General Sergey rudskoy said that the civil war in Syria actually stopped and the situation in the country improved dramatically after the signing in Astana in early may of this year the Memorandum on the creation of zones of de-escalation. The talks in Astana from time to time are struggling, but, nevertheless, they continue with the participation of the special representative of the UN Secretary General on Syria Staffan de Mistura and the U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, George Krol.

At the same time, terrorist groups continue to be used as a tool of pressure on Damascus and its allies. This is evidenced, in particular, the frequent attacks on Pro-government forces in southern Syria, as well as the transfer of the American MLRS in the area of Al-TANF.

At the same time in Iraq, the continuing assault on Mosul, which is already the 8th month. Here, as in Syria, with US support, actualizarea "Kurdish factor" and on this point Washington has serious differences with Turkey – a longtime NATO ally in the Middle East region. All further actions of Ankara afterizvrasheniya of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from Washington indicate that to interact with Americans in Syria Turkey on terms the United States no longer wants. For its part, the U.S. stake in the region Saudi Arabia and Israel. At the same time, Saudi Arabia and several other Arab States, including Egypt, started a real diplomatic war and the partial blockade against Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. In addition, in early June, a series of terrorist acts in Iran. Tehran accused in the incident in Riyadh.

Many observers around the world in Newspapers and on television analyze what is happening and do not skimp on a variety of predictions, which is talking about the possible decays of some States (Iraq, Syria, etc.) and the imminent formation of the new (e.g., a Kurdish state).

Events in the middle East often woven into a complex context of inter-elite and the party-political confrontation: obviously, ignore the consequences of the destructive activities of the extremist terrorist groups a few years, destroying cultural and civilizational space of the ancient region, then it is impossible. In particular, the House of representatives of the 115th convocation on June 6 adopts resolution No. 390, the purpose of which is providing emergency assistance to the victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, ensuring accountability and jurisdiction the perpetrators of these crimes.

The reason for the emergence of this bill was the statement of former U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry on 17 March 2016, under which "ISIS" ("ISIS", "ISIS", banned in Russia) responsible for the genocide and crimes against humanity, religious and ethnic minority groups, including Christians and Yazidis. The sponsors of the draft resolution was co-chair of the Helsinki Commission, the Republican from new Jersey Chris Smith (Chris Smith) and co-chair of the Commission on the issues of religious minorities in the middle East, a Democrat from California, Anna Eshoo (Anna Eshoo). Important detail: the Deputy from California Anna Eshoo comes from the Armenian-Assyrian Catholic family. Note also that C. Smith was last in Iraq in December of 2016, and he saw also was the impetus for drafting this law.

The motivational part of the bill, Congressman K. Smith refers to official communications of the state Department on international religious freedom. The number of Christians in Iraq decreased from 800 000 — 1 400 000 in 2002 to 250,000 in 2015. The population of Iraq the Yezidis have fallen from 500,000 in 2013 to 350 000-400 000 in 2015. Annual reports on internationalreligious freedom native of the state Department indicate that the Christian community living in Syria, taking into account in 2010, compared with 10% of the total population, are currently "significantly" less than before the civil war.

According to K. Smith, the introduction of the bill in circulation (January 10) is timely, as in December he saw in Iraq, the lack of humanitarian aid for survivors of the genocide of Christians. These surviving victims of genocide said to him: "the United States and the world community has abandoned them." As suggested by a Republican, Christians and Yazidis are at risk of freezing under the influence of winter temperatures and require emergency assistance.

According to the MP from new Jersey, the local community and the organization unsuccessfully sought to mitigate the impact of violence directed against the three religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria, including in the Chaldean Catholic diocese of Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan). Latest used private funds to assist internally displaced Christians, Yazidis and Muslims in the region of Erbil. However, the growing needs and diminishing resources has hampered this work.

What is important is the resolution? In our opinion, the following should be noted:

— the resolution States that U.S. policy should include the need to provide humanitarian, stabilization and recovery assistance to persons who are nationals or residents of Iraq and Syria, and also communities of these countries are citizens of those countries. Recorded, the most in need individuals from the communities of religious and ethnic minorities who were identified as at risk of persecution, forced migration, genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes;

the resolution quite clearly captures those groups that have been subjected to acts of genocide based on religious and ethnic grounds;

legal act of the house of representatives authorizes the Secretary of State and the leadership of the U.S. Agency for international development (USAID) to assist organizations, including NGOs, in activities to combat crimes against humanity (including genocide) and war crimes of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. These activities include conducting criminal investigations and collecting and preserving evidence for use in criminal trials of suspected criminals;

the document encourages the Secretary of state in consultation with the attorney General, assistant to the President for national security, Director of National intelligence and the Director of the FBI and foreign governments to include in the database any identifying information about persons suspected of committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, including with the purpose of bringing them to responsibility;

— the resolution does not mention the current President Bashar al-Assad and, in contrast to the statements of certain officials of the United States, not accusing him of any crime;

— the document proposes the formation procedure of both international and mixed judicial authorities, who will conduct the investigation of all cases of genocide took place in Syria and Iraq;

— proposed procedure for the formation of a humanitarian Fund to assist victims of acts of genocide;

— bill, at the moment, is not binding, but certainly it will play some role in policy formation, especially the Humanities, the ruling of the US administration in Syria and Iraq.

It should be noted that co-sponsors of that resolution were made by 47 members of the house, a number of retired U.S. diplomats with the rank of ambassadors, which had previously specialized in the field of war crimes, as well as some supporting groups, among which highlight: the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), Conference of Catholic bishops of the United States, Chaldean-Assyrian Syrian business Alliance, the Foundation of the Chaldean heritage, Christian solidarity worldwide, International Christian concern, an Iraqi Christian Council on human rights, International organization "human Rights for Yazidis", Center for religious freedom (Hudson Institute), Commission for international justice and accountability, the Syrian accountability project, In defense of Christians, Yazd, Commission on ethnic and religious freedom etc.

The organizer of such large-scale advance by the above-mentioned organizations became the AAA, which can be explained by three circumstances:

— more than 500 years of the Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC) was represented on the territory of modern Iraq and Syria were part of the Ottoman Empire, followers of some Eastern Christian churches, and in certain periods – a significant portion of Christians in the Middle East. Therefore, the Armenian Apostolic Church, his power is making efforts to protect their interests and the patronage,

the Yezidis are the largest ethnic minority of Armenia and the official Yerevan, as Armenians, are trying to assist them. In particular Yerevan listed amount in support of the Yezidis representative of the UN high Commissioner for refugees in Armenia and made statements in support of them;

— more than 100 years ago, the Armenians themselves were subjected to genocide in the former Ottoman Empire. Hence the statement of the Executive Director of the AAA Bryan's arduni: "the Armenian Assembly strongly supports the adoption of this condemnation of the bill, carrying help to those who continue to suffer as a result of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The world watched in horror how the Armenians, Yazidis, Kurds and other innocent minorities were subjected to violence and unspeakable crimes and, unfortunately, without the full responsibility of the perpetrators... the Armenians, having been a target for destruction in the twentieth century, deeply concerned that after 100 years the descendants of survivors of victims of the genocide in Iraq and Syria are facing similar atrocities. After the bill was passed in the House of representatives, the Assembly calls on the Senate to follow suit".

There is no doubt that the resolution to a certain extent reflects the concern of what is happening in this sector of the Middle East of American public opinion and demands appropriate action from their government in the protection of quite specific groups of ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, especially Christians and Yazidis.

This document, apparently, should be considered as one of the processes of preparing for one of the probable scenarios in this sector of the Middle East. We are talking about a possible proclamation of an independent Kurdish state, first of all, in the Iraqi Kurdistan. In this case it is possible with care to speak about the support of certain circles in the U.S. Congress of a possible formation of the Nineveh Christian authority (Armenian-Assyrian, or more likely the Armenian-Assyrian-Chaldean).

As for the official Yerevan in the issue of the protection of Christian minorities in Syria, he is working closely with Moscow, particularly in the framework of international organizations. Recall the statement of the head of Russian foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov during his official visit to Yerevan in November 2015. In March 2015, Russia and Armenia was among the proponents of the Council for human rights UN special event on measures to protect Christians in the middle East. "Note that this theme was picked up by many of our partners, including in Lebanon, the Vatican, in international structures...", – said the head of the Russian foreign Ministry.

Regarding the situation in Syria since the start of the crisis, Armenia has pursued a policy of positive neutrality, including it cooperates with Russia in implementing humanitarian aid programmes. In particular, since the beginning of June, Armenia, using Russian transport aircraft already sent to Syria two shipments of humanitarian aid.

We must assume that the official Yerevan in cooperation with Moscow, and the Armenian lobbying organizations in the United States will continue to support the Christian minorities and the Yezidis in Syria and Iraq. If the above resolution will be supported by the upper house of Congress (as long as it is still not clear), then its importance will certainly increase. Despite the mixed, to put it mildly, policy, "the Syrian question" and the de facto support, including radical militant groups, the ruling administration will be forced to take steps to implement the main provisions of the resolution in its real policy in the middle East.

David Petrosyan


Tags: Syria

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