Battle to Retake Mosul Signals End of ‘Da’esh Caliphate’ in Iraq, Secretary-General’s Special Representative Tells Security Council

9 November 2016
7804th Meeting (AM)

Battle to Retake Mosul Signals End of ‘Da’esh Caliphate’ in Iraq, Secretary-General’s Special Representative Tells Security Council

Condemning ‘Racist’ Territorial Claims by Turkey, Permanent Representative Objects to Unauthorized Foreign Military Incursions

The historic battle to liberate Mosul marked the beginning of the end for the so-called “Da’esh caliphate in Iraq”, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in that country told the Security Council this morning.

Ján Kubiš, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), congratulated the national security forces, as well as Peshmerga fighters, the popular mobilization forces and allied volunteers supported by the international community on the steady progress of their battle, and said that increased popular support underlined the fact that the fight for liberation was also for the unity of Iraqis of all ethnic and religious groups.

“We witness the birth of a new Iraq,” he said, adding that, on the basis of lessons learned, there had been unprecedented planning for the protection of civilians during the Mosul operation.  He was presenting the twelfth report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 2107 (2013) (document S/2016/885), and the report of the Secretary-General pursuant to resolution 2299 (2016) (document S/2016/897).

Leaders of all communities and groups would have to address numerous grievances of the past, he said, emphasizing that reconciliation at both the community and national levels was the way to ensure military victory against Da’esh sustainable.  Sayyed Ammar al‑Hakim, head of the Iraq National Alliance, had confirmed that his group, the largest parliamentary bloc, was planning to submit a national compromise document and had called for coexistence and the rejection of division under all circumstances.

Noting that the presence of Turkish troops in Camp Ba’shiqa remained unresolved, he urged the Governments of Turkey and Iraq to tone down their rhetoric and accelerate bilateral efforts to find a mutually acceptable resolution in a way that would respect fully the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.

He went on to say that an estimated 35,000 people had been internally displaced as a result of the Mosul operation, and the city’s population was increasingly suffering from a lack of food, water, medicine and electricity.  Fleeing families were highly vulnerable, including from direct and indirect fire, improvised mines and other explosive remnants.  In July, the humanitarian country team had issued a flash appeal for $280 million in preparation for the Mosul operation, he said, adding that close to 80 per cent had been received.

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) was leading and coordinating the activities of the mine-action sector in recaptured areas, he said, noting that the Service relied entirely on bilateral contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action.  The mine action community would require $112 million in 2017, depending on the rate of areas recaptured, but that amount was almost entirely unfunded at the moment.

Turning to the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, as well as Kuwaiti property, including the National Archives, he said the Government of Iraq was injecting much-needed energy and momentum into bolstering efforts to find missing persons.  The Government of Kuwait had consistently demonstrated support as well as understanding of the challenges faced by the Government of Iraq over the years.

Following that briefing, Mohamed Ali Alhakim (Iraq), thanked the United States, the European Union and all those helping to liberate his country from the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and providing live-saving aid.  Affirming that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was overseeing the entire effort to retake Mosul, he commended the gains made by the joint forces liberating towns on the city’s periphery, pointing out that more than 9,000 people had been able to return to previously occupied areas of Tikrit and Ramadi.

He went on to voice objections to incursions into Iraq by any forces not authorized by the Government, and condemned “racist” statements claiming Turkey’s historical rights to Kirkuk and Mosul.  Maintaining that many of that neighbouring country’s actions had abetted ISIL, he said measures had been taken to expel Turkish forces from Iraqi territory and appropriate notifications had been provided to the Security Council.  Urging the international community to ensure that terrorist organizations were cut off from further financing, weapons and materials for manufacturing explosive devices, he called upon the Council’s sanctions committees to target those in other countries providing such resources.

Welcoming international efforts to build capacity with a view to helping UNAMI and Iraqi authorities to coordinate technical support in fighting the terrorist threat, he said that besides basic humanitarian support, Iraq would welcome assistance in demining and providing livelihoods in areas that had been liberated.  Meanwhile, Iraq continued to promote friendly relations with its neighbours, and efforts to resolve outstanding issues with Kuwait were continuing, he said.  In addition, he called upon other countries in the region to secure their borders so that terrorists in Syria would not have access to resources and free transit.

Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay) reiterated the urgent need to grapple with the threat of international terrorism under international law, recognizing the severe impact on the Iraqi people.  Those responsible for horrific acts must be brought to justice, he emphasized, while urging all parties to respect all principles of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and calling upon parties in Iraq to come together under a single vision for their people’s future.

The meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 10:42 a.m.

For information media. Not an official record.