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Security Council resolution sanctions against Islamist groups in Iraq, Syria

The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution on sanctions against extremist Islamist groups in Iraq and Syria, in an attempt to cut off funding to these groups.

In the unanimously approved resolution, the 15-member Council expressed "its gravest concern that territory in parts of Iraq and Syria is under the control of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Nusrah Front (ANF) and about the negative impact of their presence, violent extremist ideology and actions on stability in Iraq, Syria and the region."

While condemning the terrorist activities of ISIL, ANF and other al-Qaida-connected groups, the Security Council demanded them to "cease all violence and terrorist acts, and disarm and disband with immediate effect" and urged UN member states to take all "necessary and appropriate" measures to combat terrorism in accordance with their commitments under international law.

Recalling its previous resolutions, the Council stated that " all states shall ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available, directly or indirectly for the benefit of ISIL, ANF, or any other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with al-Qaida, by their nationals or by persons within their territory."

ISIL, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or simply the Islamic State (IS), is an al-Qaida splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and has forced thousands of people mainly from minority communities to flee their homes. ANF is an al-Qaida-linked extremist group fighting the Syrian government.

In the Friday resolution, the Security Council reaffirmed that states shall prevent the "direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer" to ISIL and ANF and associated individuals and groups, of arms and related materials.

The Council also noted "with concern that oilfields and related infrastructure controlled by ISIL, ANF ... are generating income which supply their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability to organize and carry out terrorist attacks. "

The resolution focused particularly on the "flow of foreign terrorist fighters" to the extremist Islamist groups, calling on UN member states to suppress this flow, bring foreign terrorist fighters to justice and engage with those at risk of being recruited to discourage travel to Syria and Iraq.

Given that ISIL and ANF are already included on the Security Council's al-Qaida sanctions regime, the resolution added the names of six individuals to the sanctions list.

The Council also expressed "its readiness to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings and entities providing support to ISIL or to ANF, including those who are financing, arming, planning or recruiting for ISIL or ANF and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with al-Qaida through information and communications technologies including the internet and social media or through any other means," said the resolution.

[Source: Xinhua, United Nations, 15Aug14]

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