Procedure : 2014/2843(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0130/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/09/2014 - 10.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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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 Iraq and Syria and the ISIS offensive (2014/2843(RSP))

Javier Couso Permuy, Pablo Iglesias, Younous Omarjee, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Paloma López, Miloslav Ransdorf, Sabine Lösing, Fabio De Masi, Helmut Scholz, Kostas Chrysogonos, Sofia Sakorafa, Georgios Katrougkalos, Martina Michels, Marisa Matias on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

B8‑0130/2014 European Parliament resolution on the situation in Iraq and Syria and the ISIS offensive (2014/2843(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2118 of 27 September 2013 on the Middle East (S/RES/2118 (2013)),

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

–       having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2013 on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, including the Iraqi Turkmen(3),

–       having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2014(4) on Syria: situation in certain vulnerable communities,

–       having regard to its resolutions of 6 February 2014(5) and 12 September 2013 on the situation in Syria(6),

–       having regard to its previous resolution on the situation in Iraq and Syria since the outbreak of sectarian violence,

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 December 2013 and 30 August 2011,

–       having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 January 2014 and 14 April 2014 on Syria,

–       having regard to the Council conclusions of 15 August 2014, 23 June 2014 and February 2014 on Iraq,

–       having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–       having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–       having regard to the Geneva Conventions on refugees,

–       having regard to the UN Security Council declaration of 14 September 2014 deploring the ‘heinous’ murder of a British aid worker by Islamic militants,

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

A.     whereas on 29 June 2014 the IS proclaimed a ‘caliphate’ or ‘Islamic State’ in the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria; whereas its leader, Abdu Bakr al Baghdadi, has been declared caliph; whereas the IS now controls large parts of Iraq and Syria, with around 30 000 fighters and it wishes to extend its ‘caliphate’ to the region;

B.     whereas according to the UN over 191 000 people have died in Syria in a three-year conflict between the government and opposition groups; whereas ‘opposition or rebel groups’, including groups such as the IS (Islamic State) or Jabhat al-Nusra, constitute a complex mixture of armed groups, including jihadist factions;

C.     whereas out of all these groups, the IS has the greatest economic resources, having secured significant income sources by looting banks and businesses on territories it controls, taking over important oil fields in Syria, and receiving funds from donors, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates;

D.     whereas the disintegration of the Iraqi-Syrian border, motivated by the conflict in both countries, has provided the IS with opportunities to enhance its presence in both countries; whereas the IS has been tolerated or even supported by parts of the disenchanted Sunni population in Iraq;

E.     whereas according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 2.9 million refugees have fled abroad to escape the fighting in Syria; whereas 1.2 million Iraqis have been internally displaced; whereas 10.8 Syrians need humanitarian aid and 1 million Iraqis are living in refugee camps or receiving emergency supplies; whereas the upsurge of the IS has produced a humanitarian crisis, notably a massive displacement of civilians;

F.     whereas over 10 000 foreigners are estimated to be fighting with these armed groups; whereas the fact that scores of them are EU citizens has alarmed Western governments considering the dire repercussions; whereas several thousand jihadists are nationals of Member States such as the UK or Belgium; whereas the danger of the conflict spilling over into the whole region and further afield is already becoming a terrifying reality;

G.     whereas Qatar and Saudi Arabia have provided weapons to Sunni rebel groups and Turkey has allowed Sunni fighters, including jihadists from al-Qaeda and the IS, to cross its border into Syria;

H.     whereas on 10 June 2014, six months after the siege of Fallujah, ISIS militants launched a major offensive in northern Iraq and overrun Mosul, the country’s second largest city, in just two days as 30 000 soldiers dropped their weapons and fled; whereas the jihadists managed to advance southwards with the support of Sunni Arab tribesmen and other militant groups, seizing a series of towns, military bases and oil refineries before being stopped not far from Baghdad;

I.      whereas the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region in the north, Massour Barzani, has asked the region’s parliament to prepare for a referendum on independence;

J.      whereas on 2 August 2014 IS fighters pushed further into northern Iraq, overwhelming Kurdish Peshmerga forces that had moved into areas abandoned by the Iraqi army; whereas the town of Sinjar was overrun and the strategically important Mosul dam, which supplies water and electricity to big parts of Iraq was also seized and the IS fighters came within 40 kilometres of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan;

K.     whereas following this operation tens of thousands of people fled their homes, in particular members of religious minorities; whereas many Yazidis were killed and some 50 000 became trapped on Mount Sinjar without food or water in very harsh conditions;

L.     whereas on 11 August 2014 Iraq’s Shia Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Haidar al-Abadi, was asked to form a new government to include leaders from all religious, ethnic and political factions; whereas the move was initially rejected by Nouri Maliki, but finally he agreed to step down; whereas Iraqi Sunni tribal sheikhs and clerics offered Abadi conditional support;

M.    whereas on 13 August 2014 IS militants launched an offensive in north-western Syria, capturing several villages and moving to 50 km from the opposition-controlled suburbs of Aleppo and within striking distance of key rebel positions leading to the Turkish border;

N.     whereas on 18 August Iraqi troops and Peshmerga fighters retook the Mosul dam;

O.     whereas on 20 August 2014 the IS published a video showing the killing of James Foley, an American journalist who was abducted in northern Syria in 2012; whereas the group is believed to be holding around 20 foreign hostages;

P.     whereas on 13 September 2014 the IS released a video showing the beheading of UK hostage and aid worker David Haines; whereas it has threatened to kill a second British citizen, Alan Henning;

Q.     whereas the IS is being accused by the UN of committing ‘mass atrocities’ and war crimes; whereas it has also been accused by human rights organisations of the ethnic cleansing of minority groups in northern Iraq;

R.     whereas the US has already targeted the IS in Iraq with air strikes in recent weeks; whereas so far nearly 40 countries, including 10 Arab states, might support a US-led plan to tackle the extremist group; whereas US President Barack Obama confirmed that the US is beginning a long-term strategy to ‘help defeat Islamic State’; whereas Australia announced it was sending 600 troops to the region ahead of possible combat operations against IS militants in Iraq;

S.     whereas on 12 September 2014 the Free Syrian Army and the IS signed a ‘non-aggression’ agreement whereby ‘the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime’;

T.     whereas Christians who live in areas under IS control and who wish to remain there face three options: converting to Islam, paying a religious levy or death; whereas since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 at least half of Iraq’s Christians are believed to have left the country;

U.     whereas a large part of the more than half a million registered Palestinian refugees in Syria have been made refugees for a second time as they had to flee refugee camps and towns in Syria as a result of military groups moving in and occupying the camps and violating the neutrality of the refugees;

V.     whereas on 15 September 2014 France hosted a conference of diplomats from up to 20 countries on the issue of Iraqi security; whereas this conference came ahead of a UN Security Council meeting the following and a meeting of heads of state at the UN General Assembly later in the month;

1.      Strongly condemns the attacks perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State against Iraqi and Syrian peoples and states, leading to summary executions, destruction and violence against civilian populations; expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims; calls for the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those who are kept hostage by this terrorist group;

2.      Warns against the risk of going down the path of religious war; underlines, nevertheless, the fact that Muslim authorities such as the Mufti of Egypt and leading Muslims in the UK reject the IS as neither Islamic nor a state and have condemned it, considering its actions to be violations of the principles of Islam and a threat to Islam and Muslims across the world;

3.      Deplores the increasing violence perpetrated by the IS, condemns the use of violence which has resulted in a high number of civilians being wounded and killed, and a high number of displaced persons; calls for those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law to be held accountable for their actions;

4.      Calls for an international peace conference to be held, bringing together regional actors such as Iran in order to promote a political solution to the conflict;

5.      Is strongly against any external military intervention in Syria; underlines, nevertheless, the need for all parties to engage in a peaceful and political dialogue; calls on all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire and to end the fighting as a condition to engage in an inclusive political dialogue in order to initiate reconciliation and help to restore stability in the country;

6.      Expresses its full support for a political solution to the conflict in Syria that will safeguard the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Syria, and guarantee the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Syrians, irrespective of their ethnic or religious background; emphasises the fact that there is no military solution to the conflict and calls for an immediate ceasefire to stop the bloodshed; expresses its deep sorrow for the enormous loss of life and human suffering caused to the civilian population;

7.      Urges the Syrian Government, the Syrian National Coalition, all interested parties and the permanent members of the UN Security Council, to work for progress at a new round of talks at the Geneva Conference;

8.      Calls on foreign actors to stop all arms exports and deliveries to the region; calls, in particular, on the states themselves and Western countries to stop financing any militia and, in particular, to stop buying oil from oil fields controlled by the IS and which is transported by trucks through Turkey;

9.      Insists that all countries involved stop all forms of aid to the armed groups fighting in Syria and exert pressure on groups with which they have links to withdraw their foreign fighters to avoid any further spill-over into the neighbouring countries;

10.    Insists that the destiny of Syria must rest firmly in the hands of the Syrian people; supports a political solution to the conflict agreed upon by Syrians, without any kind of foreign intervention, that would allow for an inclusive national dialogue aimed at effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people for political and democratic changes; calls on the international community to support an internal solution and a Syrian-led process;

11.    Believes that the invasion of Iraq and the foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs have served as the breeding ground for the appearance and spread of the IS appearance; denounces the role played in particular by the US, the Member States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey;

12.    Stresses the fact that the conflict has been exacerbated by the arms trade and the supply of weapons and even non-lethal equipment; calls on all countries involved to stop all forms of direct aid to the armed groups;

13.    Supports the Iraqi and Syrian states and the Kurdish forces in their fight against IS terrorism; emphasises the fact that the security response needs to be combined with a sustainable political solution involving all the components of society in each case and addressing their legitimate demands;

14.    Stresses the fact that in the fight against the IS human rights and international humanitarian law must be respected; calls on the Governments of Iraq and Syria to take the necessary measures to provide for the security and protection of the people of their countries;

15.    Expresses its deep concern at the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria which has been exacerbated by the IS, forcing hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee their homes; encourages the Council, the Commission and the High Representative to make all necessary financial and human resources available to assist the refugees; stresses the need to provide appropriate humanitarian aid to those displaced;

16.    Calls for the EU to increase international support and assistance for both internally displaced refugees and those crossing into neighbouring countries; draws attention to the increased numbers of refugees who risk their lives in open vessels to flee to Europe, and calls for asylum and support to be granted to them;

17.    Is deeply concerned about the current economic and political situation in Iraq, which is aggravating the fragile living conditions of the population; reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq; reiterates its support for the inalienable right of peoples to have access to and control their country’s resources;

18.    Warns of the risk of the fragmentation of Iraq into three different areas on confessional or ethnic grounds, which would impede the existence of an Iraqi national and democratic multiconfessional project;

19.    Is of the opinion that the terrorist practices of Islamist radicals are being used as a tool to debilitate Middle East countries and deny the existence of any strong state which could use the revenues of its oil sector for its own economic and social development;

20.    Calls for an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations and neighbouring countries in the region to allow for the participation of all of Iraq’s diverse groups and promote the formation of a united government which could put an end to all sectarian and violent policies in the country;

21.    Condemns alleged selective bombing using drones and the introduction of foreign troops on the ground; denounces NATO’s attempt to replace the pacification and stabilisation tasks that can only be implemented by broad consensus in the framework of the UN General Assembly;

22.    Believes that the full respect for the independence and sovereignty of states such as Iraq, Syria and Libya is the only guarantee of avoiding the spill-over of the IS and further suffering to their populations;

23.    Calls on the EU Council to take the lead in convening an international conference on the prohibition and ecological destruction of the world’s entire arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical and bacteriological;

24.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Head of Delegation in Iraq, the presidents of the parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Council of Representatives of the Republic of Iraq, the Government and Parliament of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean and the League of Arab States.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0011.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0171.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0101.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0461.


Texts adopted, P7TA(2014)0099.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0378.

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