The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution condemning radical Islamists in Iraq and Syria and their supporters. Six prominent extremists were placed on a UN blacklist.
"The Security Council [...] expresses its readiness to consider blacklisting individuals, groups, undertakings and entities providing support" to Islamic State (IS), including those who finance, arm, plan or recruit for the groups, the resolution, adopted Friday, read.
The resolution imposes sanctions on six men for recruiting foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria and calls for the "immediate disbanding and disarming" of all al Qaeda-linked groups there.
The six individuals, according to the UN, are prominent jihadists with ties to IS or its rival al-Nusra Front, two groups perpetrating violence throughout Iraq and Syria. The UNSC said it "deplores and condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist acts of [IS] and its violent extremist ideology, and its continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law."
The resolution was drafted in response to the recent advances by IS fighters, who have taken control of significant parts of eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, brutalizing civilians and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee. The violence has sparked the first US air strikes in Iraq since American troops pulled out of war-torn country in 2011.
'Milestone' in Iraq
Friday's resolution came a day after the resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, which could pave the way for a new coalition that international and regional powers hope can bring an end to the Islamist insurgency.
The UN's top envoy in Iraq praised Nuri al-Maliki's decision to back down from a damaging bid to cling to his position as prime minister, calling it a "historic milestone."
"The decision of Mr. Maliki to allow the formation of a new government to proceed without further delay demonstrates statesmanship and a commitment to the democratic process, and will allow for […] a peaceful transition of authority in a country that has been through too much bloodshed and violence," Nickolay Mladenov said in a statement.
Maliki's critics say he was responsible for the crisis that brought Iraq - and the surrounding region - to the brink of breakup. They say his Shiite influenced policies marginalized and radicalized the Sunni Arab minority that provided the support for the rise of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria.
glb/sb (AP, Reuters, dpa)