Russia called Thursday for the closing of the Turkey-Syrian border to prevent ISIL and the Al-Nusra Front terrorist groups from receiving foreign fighters and weapons into Syria – and from exporting oil, artifacts and other goods.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told a Security Council meeting on “countering terrorism” that members should also think about imposing a complete trade and economic embargo against ISIL.
Churkin said in a recent letter to the council that Turkey is the main supplier of weapons and ammunition to ISIL fighters and that $1.9 million worth of explosives and industrial chemicals were smuggled across Turkey’s border to extremist groups. Turkey’s UN Mission rejected the allegations as “baseless.”
Churkin accused Turkey Thursday of “complacency or inaction” in allowing fighters and weapons to cross into Syria and the bulk of ISIL oil to be exported along with cultural artifacts.
“If Turkey feels that it is doing everything necessary to curtail the flows of supplies to terrorists, this could be corroborated by independent monitors,” he said.
Churkin called on the Turkish government “on a voluntary basis” to invite international observers to its borders with Syria and the port of Ceyhan.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council that more than 30,000 people from all over the world have joined ISIL terrorists campaigns in Iraq and Syria. He urged member states “to take more concrete steps to stop fundraising through the smuggling of oil and gas, the illicit trade of cultural artifacts, kidnapping for ransom and donations from abroad.”
Russia and China introduced a draft U.N. resolution Wednesday aimed at preventing “terrorists” from preparing or using chemical weapons in Syria.
Churkin told the council Thursday that fighters from various radical groups have used “toxic poisonous substances” this year, singling out a known case of ISIL using mustard gas in Deir el-Zour.
He said the draft resolution fills a gap in council resolutions and expressed hope for its speedy adoption.