UN Envoy Describes IS Advances in Iraq, Calls for United Effort

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Briefing a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council about Iraq on Friday, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov described advances and abuses by the Islamic State and called for united effort to address them.

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 - Briefing a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council about Iraq on Friday, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov described advances and abuses by the Islamic State and called for united effort to address them.

Mladenov said "most recently ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] forces have been able to take the key town of Dulueeya in Salahadine Province. This not only exacerbated the existing humanitarian catastrophe, but it has demonstrated the group's continued capacity to gain territory."

Mladenov concluded that "this threat, grave as it is, can be addressed if Iraq, the region and the world work together and in the framework of the Charter of the UN and the relevant Security Council resolutions."

Enumerating the impact, Mladenov told the Security Council that "since January there have been at least 25,000 civilian casualties, including at least 8500 killed and more than 16,000 wounded. At least 4,700 civilians have been killed and some 6,500 wounded since the beginning of June."

Mladenov also emphasized that the Islamic State targets particular groups. "Minority communities, including Christians, Yezidis, Shabaks, Turkmen and others have been targeted by ISIL, who have sought systematically and deliberately to cleanse territories under their control, perpetrating acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide."

The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.

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