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UN Security Council calls on countries to eradicate Islamic State threat

21 November 2015

The United Nations Security Council on Friday authorised member states to "take all necessary measures" to eradicate the threat of Islamic State group, in a resolution that won unanimous backing.

The Security Council resolution calls on all countries that can do so to take the war on terrorism to Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and destroy its safe haven, warning that the group intends to mount further terror attacks like those that devastated Paris and Beirut last week.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body declared the group's terrorist attacks abroad ''a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security'' following the ''horrifying terrorist attacks'' it perpetrated recently in Sousse (Tunisia), Ankara (Turkey), over Sinai (Egypt) with the downing of a Russian plane, and in Beirut and Paris.

It warned that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or Da'esh as it is also known, ''has the capability and intention to carry out'' further strikes and called upon ''Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law'' on its territory.

Condemning ''in the strongest terms'' ISIL and other terrorist groups in the region such as Al-Nusrah Front, the Council called on member states ''to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria.''

It called on member states to intensify efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, and reaffirmed that those responsible for terrorist acts, violations of international humanitarian law or violations or abuses of human rights must be held accountable.

It cited ''the continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of humanitarian law, as well as barbaric acts of destruction and looting of cultural heritage'' carried out by ISIL.

The resolution also expressed deepest condolences to the victims of the terrorist attacks and their families and to the people and governments of Tunisia, Turkey, Russia, Lebanon and France, and to all governments whose citizens were targeted in these attacks and all other victims of terrorism.

''By its violent extremist ideology, its terrorist acts, its continued gross systematic and widespread attacks directed against civilians, abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those driven on religious or ethnic ground, its eradication of cultural heritage and trafficking of cultural property,'' ISIL constitutes ''a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,'' the Council stressed.

It also cited the group's control of natural resources in Iraq and Syria and its ''recruitment and training of foreign terrorist fighters whose threat affects all regions and member states, even those far from conflict zones.''

The French-drafted measure calls on all UN member states to "redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks" committed by IS and other extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius welcomed the adoption and said in a statement that the resolution showed the world's resolve to confront IS jihadists.

"It is now important for all countries to commit themselves in a concrete manner to this fight, either through military action, the search for political solutions or the battle against terrorist financing," said Fabius.

The resolution does not provide any legal basis for military action and does not invoke chapter seven of the UN charter that authorizes the use of force.

But French diplomats maintain that it will provide important international political support to the anti-IS campaign that has been ramped up since the attacks in Paris a week ago.

The resolution calls on member states "that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law... on the territory under the control of ISIL, also known as Daesh, in Syria and Iraq."

The vote came exactly a week after coordinated attacks claimed by IS targeted a packed concert hall, football stadium, bars and restaurants in Paris, killing 130 people and wounded hundreds.

Two weeks earlier, a Russian airliner was downed by a bomb, killing all 224 people on board, in a separate attack that IS claims was carried out using explosives packed in a can of Schweppes soft drink.

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