U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Statement on Syria


WASHINGTON, DC — “For over nine years, Syrians have been crying out for help,” said Naomi Kikoler, Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “Syrians across the country remain at risk of mass atrocities today, including in northeast Syria, Idlib province, at Rukban camp, and in government detention centers. Every effort needs to be made to halt the commission of crimes against humanity by the Russian- and Iranian-backed Assad regime; avert forced displacement of Syrian Kurds and other communities in northeast Syria by Turkey and allow those already displaced to return; prevent the forced repatriation of Syrian refugees from Turkey; and prevent ISIS from exploiting this situation to regroup.”

“The idea that ISIS, who committed genocide and crimes against humanity, may resurge and evade justice is alarming and would perpetuate cycles of violence and instability throughout the region,” continued Kikoler.

The Museum is deeply concerned about the situation in Syria and urges the prioritization of civilian protection alongside other interests in order to save lives, advance efforts to find a durable resolution, and safeguard the security of the region and the United States. A failure to prevent mass atrocities against civilians would exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and increase the risk of future sectarian conflict and terrorism.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum works to inspire citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. To learn more about the Museum’s genocide prevention efforts visit,

(The above statement was posted on the USHMM website on October 21, 2019)