Procedure : 2014/2843(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0109/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/09/2014 - 10.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0109/2014

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

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

on the situation in Iraq and Syria, and the ISIS offensive, including the persecution of minorities (2014/2843(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Jana Žitňanská, Ruža Tomašić, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Peter van Dalen, Ryszard Czarnecki, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Geoffrey Van Orden, Bas Belder, Beatrix von Storch on behalf of the ECR Group

B8‑0109/2014 European Parliament resolution on the situation in Iraq and Syria, and the ISIS offensive, including the persecution of minorities (2014/2843(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation Iraq, including that of 17 July 2014(1), and its previous resolutions on the situation in Syria,

–       having regard to the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of 15 August 2014,

–       having regard to the conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council on 30 August 2014,

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

–       having regard to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities of 18 December 1992,

–       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 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2170 of 15 August 2014 on human rights abuses by extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, and the approval of sanctions against militants in Iraq and Syria,

–       having regard to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) casualty figures in Iraq,

–       having regard to the UNSC statement on access to and seizure of oilfields and pipelines in Syria and Iraq by Islamic State (IS) fighters,

–       having regard to the comments of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, of 25 July 2014,

–       having regard to the comments of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, of 8 September 2014 on the violence in Syria and Iraq,

–       having regard to the recent statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on violence in Iraq and in Syria,

–       having regard to the statement by the President of the European Parliament on the situation in Iraq of 11 August 2014,

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

A.     whereas an arc of instability is spreading across the region, and if left unchecked could lead to large areas of the Middle East becoming a haven for international terrorists and extremists;

B.     whereas the potential for a new era of stability and democracy born out of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010 has been replaced by an unprecedented period of instability and violence in the region;

C.     whereas the long-running civil war in Syria has provided the IS with opportunities to enhance its presence both there and in Iraq;

D.     whereas hundreds of foreign fighters, including many from EU Member States, have reportedly joined the fighting alongside IS; whereas these EU citizens are identified as a security risk by the governments of the EU Member States;

E.     whereas the latest estimates suggest the IS may have up to 31 000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, three times as many as previously feared;

F.     whereas the recent rise in the IS threat adds to the existing humanitarian needs of people already displaced by violence in both Iraq and Syria; whereas the violence is also placing further pressure on neighbouring countries who have been providing a safe haven for those fleeing violence and conflict before the latest IS insurgency; whereas the number of displaced people is expected to rise due to the ferocity of the IS insurgency;

G.     whereas the United Nations and other international organisations have reported widespread human rights abuses in Iraq and Syria by IS, including targeted killings against minority ethnic and religious groups; whereas there are growing concerns for the welfare of those still trapped in areas controlled by IS forces;

H.     whereas according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) an estimated 1.8 million Iraqis have been displaced since the beginning of the year, nearly half of them children; whereas nearly 11 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance and three million have fled to neighbouring countries;

I.      whereas the United Nations World Food Programme has resumed delivering food assistance to parts of Iraq for the first time since May 2014, targeting 76 000 people who are part of a ‘massive displacement’ of families fleeing fighting;

J.      whereas according to Amnesty International IS has launched a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq, including mass summary killings and abductions against ethnic and religious minorities; whereas Christians, a Shia minority, Shabaks, Turkmen, Yazidis and others have all been targeted by IS forces;

K.     whereas thousands of Yazidi families were unable to reach safe ground following IS control of Sinjar and were forced to take refuge on the Jebel Sinjar mountain chain; whereas estimates put the number of households stranded in the mountains in dire conditions as ranging from 8 000 to 30 000;

L.     whereas the European Union is increasing its humanitarian aid to Iraq by an additional EUR 5 million in response to the growing needs, bringing the overall funding for Iraq up to EUR 17 million in 2014;

1.      Strongly condemns the terrorist acts committed by IS and other armed groups against Iraqi and Syrian citizens; further deplores attacks against civilian targets and condemns without reservation the use of executions, torture and sexual violence in the conflict;

2.      Expresses serious concerns at the worsening humanitarian crisis caused by the recent fighting, and notes the massive displacement of civilians in both Syria and Iraq; further notes with concern that the escalation in armed conflict in Iraq, particularly in the north, has seen thousands of people displaced across the Kurdish Region as they flee the advances of IS;

3.      Deplores the indiscriminate killings and human rights violations carried out by IS and other terrorist organisations, including against Christian and other religious and ethnic minorities;

4.      Deplores the recent murder of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines by IS fighters, and expresses grave concern for the safety of others still being held captive by the extremists;

5.      Supports all those engaged in the fight against the IS terrorism and other armed/terrorist groups; further calls on all regional actors and governments to cooperate fully in combating the IS threat; stresses that such cooperation is vital to the security of the region;

6.      Believes that all options must be kept open and nothing ruled out when it comes to combating the threat posed by IS; further calls on the European Union, its Member States and other international actors to work closely in developing an urgent and comprehensive response to the IS threat;

7.      Welcomes the recent support of regional powers in their willingness to join a US-led coalition against IS; commends the efforts of US Secretaries of State Kerry and Hagel in seeking to build this international coalition;

8.      Rejects without reservation and considers illegitimate the acclamation by the IS leadership that it has established a caliphate in the areas it now controls, and rejects the notion of any unilateral changes of internationally recognised borders by force; further believes the creation of such a caliphate, its ideology, and extremist violence is a direct threat to the security of the European Union;

9.      Voices concern at reports of hundreds of foreign fighters, including citizens from EU Member States, who have joined the IS insurgency; further calls for international cooperation to take appropriate legal action against any individuals suspected of being involved in acts of terrorism;

10.    Welcomes the recent announcement by the UNSC to convene a summit meeting on 25 September 2014 to focus international attention on the ‘growing and dangerous phenomenon’ of foreign terrorist fighters;

11.    Believes instability and conflict in Syria, caused by the Assad regime’s war against its own people, has created the conditions for IS to flourish and led to wider instability and violence in the region; calls for fresh and urgent international action to seek a lasting, peaceful, political solution to this conflict;

12.    Welcomes the formation of a new inclusive government in Iraq and calls on all participants to work together in the interests of political stability and peace, and in combating the IS insurgency;

13.    Believes it is the duty of the European Union to continue to support the sovereignty of Iraq, as well as to provide all possible humanitarian support to ease the suffering of all those caught up in the fighting in both Iraq and Syria; further believes the European Union has a role to play in helping those neighbouring countries which are providing shelter for refugees fleeing conflict and the IS insurgency;

14.    Is deeply concerned at reports oilfields and related infrastructure have fallen into the hands of IS forces as this may provide a valuable income stream for their terrorist operations; calls on all countries not to engage in commercial activity which may directly or indirectly benefit IS with respect to oil in Syria and Iraq;

15.    Calls for a comprehensive investigation into allegations of human rights abuses in Iraq and Syria and for those accused of such crimes to be prosecuted under international law;

16.    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 Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the United Nations Human Rights Council.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0011.

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