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Russia urges cutting off financial flows to Islamic State
November 22, 2014, 5:57 am

A Kurdish fighter is seen patrolling the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River, about 70 km north of the city of Mosul, northern Iraq on Nov.3, 2014 [Xinhua]

A Kurdish fighter is seen patrolling the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River, about 70 km north of the city of Mosul, northern Iraq on Nov.3, 2014 [Xinhua]

Even as the US Central Command on Friday said the US and its allies have staged 30 air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq since Wednesday, Russia has insisted that major impact in the fight against the group would come from straining financial support for the group.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Friday financial support provided for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) must be stopped through a campaign in strict accordance with international law.

“International financial flows to the ISIL must be cut off by approaches based on international law and with respect for the sovereignty of related countries,” Bogdanov said.

Earlier last month, the US and Russia announced an agreement to share intelligence on the armed rebel group.

The ISIL has become the most affluent terrorist organization ever, with financial support from outside and by amassing wealth through drug trafficking and oil proceeds from the sites it has seized, the Russian diplomat said.

The group’s assets are used to finance arms purchase and recruit mercenaries from around the world, Bogdanov said.

Meanwhile, he stressed that the UN Security Council must take the principal responsibility of fighting with extremist groups like the ISIL.

Bogdanov also accused the United States of not complying with international law in the fight against the ISIL.

“Actions of the US-led coalition do not comply with the international law and generally-accepted practice of countering terrorism,” charged Bogdanov.

The coalition does not coordinate its operations with the Syrian government, Bogdanov said, adding that ground operations to fight the militants should only be conducted by the armed forces of Iraq and Syria.

Earlier last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin had raised questions about the financing of ISIL.

“Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIL manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force?” asked Putin.

“The terrorists are getting money from selling oil too. Oil is produced in territory controlled by the terrorists, who sell it at dumping prices, produce it and transport it. But someone buys this oil, resells it, and makes a profit from it, not thinking about the fact that they are thus financing terrorists who could come sooner or later to their own soil and sow destruction in their own countries,” said the Russian President.

ISIL, an alternate acronym of the group Islamic State, has seized vast swaths of territory in northern Iraq since June and announced the establishment of a caliphate in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq.


TBP and Agencies