UN okay for action against Islamic State but no military resolution yet

French-sponsored resolution adopted by Security Council is strongly worded

GN Staff | November 21, 2015


#islamic state   #france   #UN   #terror   #terrorism   #paris  

A week after Paris attacks, the UN Security Council has unanimously approved a strongly-worded French-sponsored resolution calling on all nations to redouble and coordinate action to prevent further attacks by Islamic State terrorists and other extremist groups.

The resolution calls on UN member states “that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures” against the Islamic State group and all other violent extremist groups “to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria.”

This does not constitute an authorisation for military action, however, because the resolution is not drafted under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which is the only way the United Nations can give a green light to the use of force.

Last week extremists had launched a coordinated gun and bomb assault that killed 130 people in Paris. The Islamic State claimed it carried out the attack. The UN action comes eight days after twin suicide bombings in Beirut killed 43 people, and three weeks after a Russian airliner crashed over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula killing all 224 people on board both attacks also claimed by IS.

Islamic State used the chaos of Syria's nearly five-year civil war to seize territory in Syria and Iraq, where a US-led coalition has been bombing the militants for more than a year, while Russia began air strikes in Syria in September.

The resolution says the Islamic State group “constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security” and expresses the council’s determination “to combat by all means this unprecedented threat.”

The measure is the 14th terrorism-related resolution adopted by the UN’s most powerful body since 1999.

The resolution “unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms” these and earlier “horrifying terrorist attacks” carried out by the Islamic State this year in Sousse, Tunisia and Ankara, Turkey.

The resolution urges UN member states “to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing on terrorism.”

In September 2014, US president Barack Obama chaired a Security Council meeting where members unanimously adopted a resolution requiring all countries to prevent the recruitment and transport of would—be foreign fighters preparing to join terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State group.

In February, the council adopted a resolution aimed at tightening its crackdown on financing terrorist groups through illicit oil sales, trading in antiquities and paying ransom for hostages.

"Welcome to everybody who finally woke up and joined the club of combating terrorists," Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told reporters ahead of the vote on the French-drafted resolution.

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