Procedure : 2016/2956(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1159/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 26/10/2016 - 12
CRE 26/10/2016 - 12

Votes :

Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1159/2016

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Northern Iraq/Mosul (2016/2956(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Mark Demesmaeker, Arne Gericke, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Angel Dzhambazki, Notis Marias, Ruža Tomašić, Branislav Škripek on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Northern Iraq/Mosul (2016/2956(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Iraq, in particular those of 27 February 2014(1) and 17 July 2014 on the situation in Iraq(2),

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Iraq, in particular those of 2016,

–  having regard to the statements by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Iraq,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Iraq is a party,

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2170 (2014) and UN Human Rights Council resolution S-22/L.1 (2014),

–  having regard to the EU guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, adopted on 24 June 2013,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq, held in Paris on 15 September 2014,

–  having regard to the Concluding observations on the combined second to fourth periodic reports of Iraq, published by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 3 March 2015,

–  having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Iraq,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 May 2016 on the EU Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the Daesh threat,

–  having regard to Resolution 2091 (2016) on Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 27 January 2016,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, according to the statement of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the operation for the recapturing and liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was launched on 16 October 2016, led by Iraqi forces with the assistance of Kurdish, US, British and French forces;

B.  whereas Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq, and is of strategic importance for the country; whereas the whole region, including the Nineveh Plain, Sinjar and Tal Afar, is a key trading centre, located not far from the borders of Syria and Turkey and near some of Iraq’s most vital oil fields, as well as the oil pipeline that services Turkey;

C.  whereas Mosul fell to ISIS forces on 10 June 2014, in what is considered to be ISIS’s most spectacular success;

D.  whereas under ISIS control, the city has become a place where more than 2.5 million people are subjected to acts of horror, including public beheadings, gay men being thrown to their deaths from the top of buildings and men who do not have beards and women who do not wear Islamic clothing such as burqas being taken prisoner; whereas this has led to a mass exodus in the past two years, contributing tremendously to the general refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the city and now being either internally displaced or living in foreign countries;

E.  whereas Iraq has a population of 38 million, 65 % of which is Shia and 35 % Sunni, the Sunnis living in the part of Iraq lying north-west of Baghdad; whereas the ethnic and religious boundaries remain unsettled, with disputes in many areas, including the city of Mosul;

F.  whereas Christians in Iraq numbered over 1.5 million in 2003 but have dwindled to less than 200 000-350 000 today, many of them living in poverty; whereas the presence of Christians and other minorities in Iraq has traditionally had a great social importance, contributing significantly to political stability, and whereas the extinction of these minorities in the region will have a further destabilising effect;

G.  whereas Christian self-defence forces have emerged and are operating on the spot, cooperating with the Iraqi army or the Peshmerga;

H.  whereas the European Parliament recognised in its resolution of 4 February 2016 that ‘“ISIS/Daesh” is committing genocide against Christians and Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities, who do not agree with the so-called “ISIS/Daesh” interpretation of Islam’ and ‘that the persecution, atrocities and international crimes amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity’;

I.  whereas the UNHCR, with reference to the ongoing recuperation of Mosul, has warned that a humanitarian disaster is expected to unfold when fighting is carried into the city and that more than one million people could be displaced by the offensive;

J.  whereas according to Canadian-based NGO The RINJ Foundation, which operates medical clinics in Mosul, rape cases in the city prove a pattern of genocide and will lead to a conviction for genocide against ISIS at the International Criminal Court, a permanent international tribunal to prosecute individuals for war-time rape, genocide, crimes against humanity and aggression;

K.  whereas the existence of waste land mines in the region, notably in the Nineveh Plain, remains a significant issue and challenge for the local and international forces;

1.  Expresses its support to the Republic of Iraq and to the international Counter-ISIL Coalition for the liberation of the city of Mosul from ISIS forces; supports the territorial integrity of Iraq, notably its northern regions;

2.  Stresses that the ongoing military campaign to liberate Mosul should adhere strictly to international humanitarian law and international human rights law;

3.  Urges the international Counter-ISIL Coalition to make every effort possible to distinguish correctly between civilians and combatants during the operation to liberate the city, to avoid victims among civilians, especially those used as human shields, and to facilitate safe passage for those civilians who do not want to stay in the city;

4.  Strongly condemns the systematic and widespread human rights abuses and violations committed by the terrorists of ISIS and other jihadi groups in Iraq, notably in Mosul, including the killing of hostages, all forms of violence against people on the basis of their religious or ethnic affiliation, and violence against women and LGBTI people;

5.  Calls on Iraq to sign the Rome Statute, and on the Iraqi authorities, if unable to try ISIS war criminals locally, to refer the cases to the International Criminal Court as permitted under the Statute;

6.  Stresses that the indigenous communities of Iraq in the region – Christians, Yezidi, Turkmens and others – have a right to live their lives in safety and security within the federal structure of the Republic of Iraq; stresses once again that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental human right;

7.  Believes that local self-determination of the communities of the Nineveh Plain, notably of Christians, Yezidi, Mandeans and Shabaks, would restore and preserve the fundamental human rights of the indigenous peoples of that region; calls on the Iraqi authorities to grant the abovementioned minorities devolved rule, as permitted under the federal constitution;

8.  Encourages the regional authorities and the international community to develop humanitarian action plans for the refugees from Mosul and for their eventual return to the city, depending, of course, on the stability of the new administration and the security situation in the city; emphasises the fact that the indigenous peoples and minorities of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar returning to their homeland should have their fundamental human rights fully restored, including property rights, superseding any claims to property rights by others;

9.  Urges the EU and its Member States to secure the representation of minorities in a new Mosul administration; stresses the legitimate right of minorities to political participation; urges the regional and international authorities to secure the necessary supplies for Christian self-defence forces in order to ensure that they can play a part in the liberation and long-term protection of their homelands;

10.  Calls on the European Council to set the demining of the land in the region as its priority, in cooperation with the local councils representing the minorities, in order to enable refugees to return home;

11.  Believes that the liberation of the city of Mosul could be a milestone in defeating the threat from Islamist extremists in the whole region and beyond, as well as being crucial to combating terrorism inside the EU, since its advance actually feeds home-grown radicalisation;

12.  Stresses the need to continue the global campaign against ISIS/Daesh in a long-term strategy, including counterterrorism financing;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the governments and authorities of all the parties involved in the conflict in Northern Iraq, notably in liberating the city of Mosul.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0171.


OJ C 224, 21.6.2016, p. 25.

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