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AFP

UN Council to vote Friday on
measure to weaken Iraq Islamists

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council is set to vote on Friday on a resolution aimed at weakening Islamists in Iraq and Syria by cutting off funding and the flow of foreign fighters.

 

The measure proposed by Britain would be the council's toughest response yet to the jihadists who now control large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and have been accused of carrying out atrocities in their campaign.

 

Diplomats told AFP that a text had been agreed by all 15 members of the Council after nearly a week of negotiations and that the resolution would come up for a vote at 1900 GMT Friday.

 

The final text, seen by AFP, demands that Islamist State (IS) fighters in Iraq and Syria, and rebels from the Al-Nusra Front in Syria and other al-Qaeda-linked groups "disarm and disband with immediate effect."

 

It "calls on all member states to take national measures to suppress the flow of foreign terrorist fighters" to IS and Al-Nusra and threatens to slap sanctions on those involved in recruitment.

 

It also warns governments and entities that trade with the jihadists, who now control oilfields and other potentially cash-generating infrastructure, "could constitute financial support" that may lead to sanctions.

 

As a concrete sign of its resolve to take aim at jihadists, the Council is to release a list of names of key extremist leaders who are to face sanctions for their ties to al-Qaeda.

 

The draft resolution states that the Council is acting under chapter VII of the UN charter, which means the measures could be enforced by military force or economic sanctions.