UN seeks to choke off ISIS funds

2015-02-12 14:43
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. (Fabrice Coffrini, AFP)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. (Fabrice Coffrini, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - The UN Security Council is set on Thursday to adopt a resolution aimed at choking off millions of dollars in earnings from oil sales, antiquities trafficking and ransom payments to ISIS.

Russia drafted the first outline of the measure, which reaffirms the council's resolve to confront the threat posed by the jihadists who overran parts of Syria and Iraq nearly a year ago.

The resolution calls for sanctions against individuals and entities that trade in oil with ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates such as the al-Nusra Front in Syria.

The measure urges all 193 countries of the United Nations to take "appropriate steps" to prevent the trade in cultural property from Iraq and Syria and directs the UN cultural agency Unesco to help put in place a ban.

It also reminds governments worldwide that they must "prevent terrorists from benefiting directly or indirectly from ransom payments or political concessions" to secure the release of hostages.

That provision was directed at European governments which have found ways to circumvent the ban on paying ransoms to win the release of captive nationals.

The resolution builds on other measures adopted by the council to clamp down on IS revenue streams and combines them into a single effort to hit at jihadist financing.

Drafted under chapter seven of the UN charter, the resolution can be enforced through sanctions or use of force, even though it does not authorize military force.

Plundering antiquities

Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, said the fall of Mosul to ISIS fighters last year had generated a revenue boon for the Islamists from the looting of art and archeological treasures.

"Mosul is a historic city, the University of Mosul is one of the oldest. It has art and treasures and these were all stolen," said Alhakim.

"They are not only looting, they are chopping down walls" of ancient buildings, he told AFP.

The UN measure has the potential to upset links between the jihadists and organised crime rings operating in eastern Europe, Turkey and Jordan, he said.

The Iraqi envoy said the resolution spells out measures to combat ISIS financing on several fronts and obliges all countries to report on the measures they are taking within 120 days.

A report by the UN's al-Qaeda monitoring team released in November estimated that the jihadists earn $850 000 to $1.65m per day from oil sales.

US officials however now say that oil is no longer the main source of revenue for ISIS.

The resolution would put fresh pressure on Turkey, seen as a transit point for oil deliveries, with trucks often returning to Iraq or Syria with refined products.

The council in August adopted a resolution to cut off sources of financing and the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria, warning countries that do trade in oil with the Islamists they could face sanctions.

Since then, the flow of foreign jihadists has increased with more than 20 000 volunteers from all over the world joining ISIS and other extremist groups, US officials said this week.

The resolution comes before the council after President Barack Obama asked Congress to grant him war powers against ISIS and after Jordan stepped up its role in the US-led coalition in response to the gruesome murder of one of its pilots at the hands of the jihadists.

Read more on:    un  |  al-qaeda  |  isis  |  iraq  |  syria  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.