Trump signs bill to help religious minorities in Iraq, Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed legislation on Tuesday to help ensure humanitarian relief reaches the members of religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria who have been targeted for genocide by Islamic State militants.

Trump says that in recent years, IS has committed “horrifying atrocities” against religious and ethnic minorities in Syria and Iraq, including Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other groups.

He said on Tuesday that the bill directs U.S. assistance toward persecuted communities, including through faith-based programs. It also allows government agencies to help groups investigating and prosecuting those responsible.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., introduced the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act. He says the measure also urges foreign governments to help apprehend IS perpetrators by adding identifying information on suspects to their national security databases.

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