March 16, 2016 / 7:02 PM / 2 years ago

Kerry to miss deadline for decision on whether ISIS atrocities are genocide: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will not have a decision on whether atrocities committed by Islamic State constitute genocide by a March 17 deadline set by Congress, but he should have a decision soon, the State Department said on Wednesday.

A destroyed building with a wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants, is seen in the town of al-Alam March 10, 2015. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

“We are informing Congress today that we’re not going to make that deadline,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing.

“We certainly respect the deadlines that Congress lays down on specific reports, or in this case decisions about genocide,” he said. “However, we also take the process very seriously. And so if we need additional time ... in order to reach a more fact-based, evidence-based decision, we’re going to ... ask for extra time.”

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech

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