UN targets foreign jihadists

Source:Agencies-Global Times Published: 2014-9-26 0:28:01

Returning terrorists threaten national security: FM

Shiite volunteers from Tal Afar attend a combat training session at a military camp in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala in central Iraq on Thursday to join the fight against jihadists of the Islamic State. Photo: AFP

China has thrown its support behind a UN Security Council resolution demanding that countries take action to stem the flow of foreign jihadists to Iraq and Syria.

At a meeting chaired by US President Barack Obama, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that compels countries to make it a serious criminal offense for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militant groups, or to recruit and fund others to do so, in a move sparked by the rise of Islamic State (IS).

The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes it legally binding for the 193 UN member states and gives the Security Council authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions or force.

It targets fighters traveling to conflicts anywhere in the world, but does not mandate military force.

The flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq is the biggest such mobilization since the Afghan war of the 1980s, according to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College, London.

Some 12,000 fighters from more than 70 nations have joined extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, experts say.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said that at least 500 British citizens had joined jihadist ranks, and Australia said it has 60 nationals fighting in IS ranks and 100 others supporting them.

There were also reports that jihadists from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region used Indonesia as a stopover to join the fight in Syria and Iraq or sought training at terrorist training camps in Indonesia, though the authorities have yet to confirm such reports.

Speaking at the UN Security Council Summit on Terrorism on Wednesday, Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, said China supports the resolution, adding it should be implemented effectively and in a comprehensive, balanced manner.

Wang said conflicts in the Middle East draw terrorists and extremists into the region from all over the world, and once the flow reverses, they will pose a serious threat to the security and stability of many countries, regions and the world as a whole.

Noting that since the end of last year, East Turkestan terrorists have instigated, orchestrated and carried out numerous violent attacks inside China, Wang urged a consistent standard in fighting terrorism.

China has long complained about the double standards used by some Western countries in fighting terrorism.

"We support Iraq in enhancing its counter-terrorism capacity-building, and we stand ready to strengthen our cooperation with various parties in intelligence sharing and personnel training. We will provide 60 million yuan ($9.78 million) in emergency humanitarian assistance to Iraq, including its Kurdish region," Wang said, noting that military actions must comply with the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council resolutions.

The US and its allies have stepped up air raids in Syria against IS militants who have taken over large areas of both countries.

US officials said Wednesday a third night of US-led airstrikes pounded IS-controlled oil refineries in eastern Syria, as the US and its partners moved to choke off a crucial source of revenue for the militant group.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined in the strikes by piloted and drone aircraft targeting facilities around al Mayadin, al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal, the US military said.

The US Central Command said there were 13 strikes against 12 modular oil refineries controlled by IS fighters as well as another strike that destroyed an IS vehicle.

Overnight, US-led airstrikes in eastern Syria killed 14 IS fighters, according to a monitoring group, while on the ground, Kurdish forces were reported to have pushed back an advance by the Islamists toward the border town of Kobani.

On Thursday, French fighter jets struck targets in Iraq, their first attack since September 19 when Paris joined the US military action against IS in Iraq.

A government spokesperson gave no details of the French raids on Iraq. France has so far ruled out joining raids on the IS in Syria.

But Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian opened the door to possibly joining strikes in Syria, hours after a French tourist was beheaded by an Algerian Islamist group citing French military action against IS in Iraq.

The death of French tourist Herve Gourdel, who was beheaded in Algeria 24 hours after an ultimatum was given to France to halt attacks in Iraq, appeared to toughen French resolve.

"The opportunity is not there today. We already have an important task in Iraq and we will see in the coming days how the situation evolves," Le Drian told RTL radio.

Meanwhile, Cameron said he wanted Britain to join the strikes against IS in Iraq after Baghdad requested London's help. He recalled parliament to secure its approval for military action on Friday.

Posted in: Mid-East

blog comments powered by Disqus