(FOX NEWS) Secretary of State John Kerry declared Thursday that the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, after facing heavy pressure from lawmakers and rights groups to make the rare designation.

“In my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in territory under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims,” Kerry said at the State Department. Daesh is another name for the Islamic State.

He accused ISIS of “crimes against humanity” and “ethnic cleansing.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.