The U.N. Security Council is considering an unprecedented move against Islamic State groups for its human rights violations in Syria and Iraq.
The move comes amid growing concern over the group’s ability to maintain its hold on territory and to carry out attacks in Europe and the United States.
But it is also an opportunity to show that the United Nations is serious about fighting terror groups and to put an end to the deadly violence that has engulfed the region for years.
The resolution, passed by the council on Wednesday, is expected to be considered by the full council, which meets in New York next week.
It would impose sanctions on Islamic State affiliates and the leaders of their affiliates for human rights abuses.
U.K. Ambassador Andrew Mitchell said the United Kingdom is “deeply concerned” by the vote.
The U and other allies are worried that the group could turn into a global force, he said.
“It is a new form of terrorism that could spread from the Middle East and into Europe,” Mitchell said.
The Security Council has previously imposed sanctions on some of Islamic State’s affiliates, including a $2 billion fine for the Syrian branch of the group.
It also imposed a $1.6 billion fine on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), for his role in the 2011 attacks in London.
The council has imposed sanctions in the past on the groups’ foreign fighters and financial backers, but there was no clear sign that the Islamic States was ready to pay the fines.
The Syrian branch is also fighting alongside the U.M.F., which is fighting Islamic State militants in Syria.
The Islamic State has also been fighting against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, and it has carried out suicide bombings in Iraq, including one that killed the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
But the United Nation’s top diplomat, António Guterres, said the Islamic Court of Justice in Iraq had committed “serious crimes” and was “a terrorist organization” that needs to be targeted.
The United States, Russia and China all voted in favor of the resolution.
The vote came as Europe grappled with a surge in Islamic State attacks in Paris and Belgium.
On Tuesday, an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up at a train station in Belgium, killing at least four people and wounding another 19.
The group has also targeted tourists and Jewish communities in the Middle Eastern country.