U.N. Security council. file photo
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The United Nations Security Council is set to try and weaken Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria on Friday by blacklisting six people and threatening sanctions against those who finance, recruit or supply weapons to the insurgents, diplomats said.
A British-drafted resolution targets the hardline Islamic State group – an al Qaeda splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate – and al Qaeda’s Syrian wing Nusra Front.
Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 15-member council was expected to unanimously adopt the resolution.
The draft “deplores and condemns 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.”
A swift and brutal push by Islamic State, previously known as ISIL, to the borders of Iraq’s autonomous ethnic Kurdish region alarmed Baghdad and last week sparked the first U.S. airstrikes in Iraq since the withdrawal of American troops in 2011.
Islamic State has long been blacklisted by the Security Council, while Nusra Front was added earlier this year. Both groups are designated under the U.N. al Qaeda sanctions regime.
The draft resolution names six new people to be placed under an international travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo: Abdelrahman Mouhamad Zafir al Dabidi al Jahani, Hajjaj Bin Fahd Al Ajmi, Said Arif and Abdul Mohsen Abdallah Ibrahim al Charekh for ties to Nusra Front, Abou Mohamed al Adnani for links to Islamic State and Hamid Hamad Hamid al-Ali for ties to both.
It condemns the recruitment of foreign fighters, demands they all withdraw and “expresses its readiness to consider listing those recruiting for or participating in the activities” of Nusra Front and Islamic State, including through financing or facilitating travel of foreign fighters.
The resolution expresses concern that oilfields captured by both groups “are generating income which support their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability to organize and carry out terrorist attacks.”
It condemns any direct or indirect trade with Islamic State or Nusra Front and warns such moves could lead to sanctions.
The draft resolution would ask U.N. experts – charged with monitoring violations of the council’s al Qaeda sanctions regime – to report “within 90 days on the threat, including to the region, posed by (Islamic State and Nusra Front), their sources of arms, funding, recruitment and demographics, and recommendations for additional action to address the threat.”
Britain initially aimed to adopt the text by the end of August, but accelerated its plan after a surge by Islamic State, which poses the biggest threat to Iraq, a major oil exporter, since Saddam Hussein was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which gives the council authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions or force. However, it does not mandate military force to tackle the insurgents.