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The EU must help the Iraqi national and local authorities combat the so-called Islamic State by all means, including appropriate military assistance, MEPs say.©Belga/AFP/JM. Lopez 

The murders of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker David Haines by the so-called Islamic State (IS) were strongly condemned by the European Parliament in a resolution voted on Thursday. The EU must use all possible means to help the Iraqi national and local authorities combat the IS, including appropriate military assistance, they said. They also urged the international community to cut off IS resources, and called for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

The creation and expansion of the “Islamic caliphate”, and the activities of other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, are a direct threat to the security of the European countries, MEPs said, adding that in the long run, only a genuine political solution to the Syrian conflict could help to neutralise the IS threat.

There should be no impunity for the perpetrators of attacks on civilian targets or the use of executions and sexual violence in Iraq and Syria said MEPs, noting that attacking civilians because of their ethnic or political background, religion, belief or gender may constitute a crime against humanity.


Cutting off IS resources


To stem the flow of material and financial resources to the IS, MEPs urged that the UN arms embargo and asset freeze on it be enforced more effectively. The EU should also enforce sanctions against traders in oil extracted in IS-controlled areas and cut off financial flows that enable IS to do business and exploit tax havens.


International coalition

The text praises the decisions of individual EU member states to supply military material to the Kurdish authorities as a matter of urgency and calls on those states to coordinate their efforts. MEPs welcome US efforts to put together an international coalition against IS and the Arab League decision to cooperate with the international community in confronting militants in Syria and Iraq.

The safe return of traditional minorities and all citizens forced to flee their homes must be the ultimate aim and responsibility of all regional players and the EU, said MEPs, voicing their support for all victims of religious intolerance and hatred.

Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution