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UN Security Council adopts resolution to disrupt ISIL funds

Resolution aims to impede ISIL's income from sales of oil and antiquities, as well ransom payments and other crimes

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at disrupting revenue that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gets from oil and antiquities sales, ransom payments and other criminal activities.

The Security Council's move comes after the United States, Turkey and Iraq announced that they were actively targeting the armed group's revenue sources.

The new resolution, which was sponsored by the U.S. and Russia, puts ISIL in the same category as Al-Qaeda, reflecting the growing threat the armed group poses, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew — who chaired Thursday's Security Council meeting, the first-ever to be composed of finance ministers from the council’s member countries — has said that cutting ISIL off from the international financial system is "critical to effectively combating this violent terrorist group."

Speaking at the Chatham House think tank in London last week, senior U.S. Treasury official Adam Szubin said Washington was already working with the Iraqi government to prevent ISIL from having access to funds the group has accumulated.

"ISIL has made more than $500 million from black market oil sales. It has looted between $500 million and $1 billion from bank vaults captured in Iraq and Syria," Szubin said.

Turkish and Iraqi authorities have also announced that they are attempting to stop the flow of oil produced in areas controlled by ISIL.

The draft Security Council resolution, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press news agency, would rename the committee monitoring sanctions against al-Qaeda as "the ISIL and al-Qaeda sanctions committee."

It calls ISIL a splinter group of al-Qaeda, and stipulates that "any individual, group, undertaking, or entity supporting ISIL or al-Qaeda" is subject to U.N. sanctions including an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

The draft encourages the 193 U.N. member states "to more actively submit" names for inclusion on the sanctions list, and expresses "increasing concern" at the failure of countries to implement previous sanctions resolutions.

Al Jazeera and The Associated Press

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