Security council unanimously calls on UN members to fight Isis
All able states should join the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and redouble efforts to prevent further attacks by the militant group, the United Nations security council has declared in a unanimous vote.
The 15-member council adopted a resolution on Friday that was drafted by France after a series of deadly attacks in Paris killed 130 people and were claimed by Isis.
“The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,” said the resolution.
Isis 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 airstrikes in Syria in September.
The group has recently claimed responsibility for downing a Russian passenger plane in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board, and attacks in Lebanon, Turkey and Tunisia.
The council resolution “calls upon member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures ... on the territory under the control of Isil [Isis]”
It also urges states to intensify efforts to stem the flow of foreigners looking to fight with Isis in Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress financing of terrorism.
“Welcome to everybody who finally woke up and joined the club of combating terrorists,” Syria’s UN ambassador, Bashar Ja’afari, told reporters before the vote on the French-drafted resolution.
The British prime minister, David Cameron, who is seeking to extend Britain’s airstrikes against Isis into Syria, called the vote on the French-drafted text an “important moment”.
“The world has united against Isil [Islamic State]. The international community has come together and has resolved to defeat this evil, which threatens people of every country and every religion,” he said.
“The UN security council has unanimously backed action against this evil death cult in both Syria and Iraq … Today’s vote shows beyond doubt the breadth of international support for doing more in Syria and for decisive action to eradicate Isil.”
On Wednesday, Syrian ally Russia revived its push for UN approval of international military campaigns combating Isis by circulating a slightly updated version of a draft resolution it initially submitted on 30 September.
That draft urged countries to coordinate military activities with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s government and has been dismissed by veto-power Britain and other members.
Russia, which views Syria as its closest Middle East ally, has been at odds with western powers over the future of Assad.
Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Friday that Moscow would still press ahead with its text. Meanwhile, Russia said Britain should cooperate in any airstrikes it carries out in Syria.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s remarks in an interview broadcast on Saturday underline Moscow’s growing assertiveness in the region.
Britain has already launched airstrikes against Isis militants in Iraq, but Cameron wants to follow allies by extending the operation to militant positions in neighbouring Syria. The PM has said he will submit a plan to the Commons.
“Undoubtedly, [any British action] should be a matter of cooperation, so that the steps are not directed at destroying the statehood of Syria,” Zakharova told current affairs programme Vesti.