UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council took aim at militants in Iraq and Syria, blacklisting six people, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) spokesman, and threatening sanctions against those who finance, recruit or supply weapons to the insurgents.
The 15-member council did so by unanimously adopting a resolution that designed to weaken ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing Nusra Front.
ISIS has long been blacklisted by the Security Council, while Nusra Front was added earlier this year. Both groups are designated under the UN Al-Qaeda sanctions regime.
Friday’s resolution named six people who will be subject to an international travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo, including Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, an Iraqi described by UN experts as one of the group’s “most influential emirs” and close to its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The resolution falls under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes it legally binding for UN members.
As the militants, particularly ISIL, have over the past two months, carried out deadly attacks in Iraq and Syria, the Council unanimously adopted a United Kingdom-led resolution noting grave concern at “the negative impact of their violent extremist ideology and actions on the stability of the region, the devastating humanitarian impact on the civilian populations and the role of these groups in fomenting sectarian tensions.”
The ongoing turmoil in northern Iraq has led the UN to designate its highest level emergency – “Level 3” – for the resultant humanitarian crisis, citing the scale and complexity of the situation, which is impacting tens of thousands of people that have been forcefully displaced by the armed group, Islamic State.
In its resolution, the Security Council deplored and condemned in the strongest terms “the terrorist acts of ISIL and its violent extremist ideology, and its continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.”
The Council, observing that ISIL is “a splinter group” of Al-Qaeda, recalled that ISIL and Al-Nusra Front are included on the Al-Qaeda sanctions list and, as such, expressed readiness to consider listing individuals, groups, undertakings and entities providing support to ISIL or to Al-Nusra Front, “including those who are financing, arming, planning or recruiting for [those groups] and all [Al-Qaeda associates] through information and communications technologies including the internet and social media or through any other means.”
Demanding that ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals and groups associated with Al-Qaeda cease all violence and terrorist acts and disband, the Council called on all UN member states to take national measures to “suppress the flow of foreign terrorist fighters”, bring them to justice and engage with those at risk of being recruited to discourage travel to Syria and Iraq.
It also reaffirmed that States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply sale or transfer to ISIL and Al-Nusra and associated individuals and groups, of arms and related materials. The Council also notes with concern that oilfields and related infrastructure controlled by ISIL and Al-Nusra are generating income which support their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability to organise and carry out terrorist attacks.
Recalling that the asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo requirements in paragraph 1 of its resolution 2161 (2014) apply to ISIL, Al-Nusra Front, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda, the Council directed the team tasked with monitoring violations of those sanctions to report “within 90 days on the threat, including to the region, posed by [ISIL and Al-Nusra], their sources of arms, funding, recruitment and demographics, and recommendations for additional action to address the threat.”