News of the airstrikes unfolded the same day the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at curbing the support -- money and arms -- flowing to the al Qaeda splinter group that has aided its rapid and brutal advance across Iraq."It has seized some of the country's precious natural resources and taken control of critical infrastructure," Samantha Power, the U.S. representative, said, referring to ISIS."Now (ISIS) has the ability to block the flow of electricity and control access to the water supplies on which people depend."ISIS seized control of Mosul Dam this month following fierce fighting. The dam sits on Iraq's Tigris River about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the city of Mosul, which fell to the extremist group in June when it swept from Syria into Iraq.Should the dam fail or ISIS fighters open its floodgates, massive flooding could result.The resolution sanctioned six people, described as financiers and supporters of ISIS' actions in Iraq and Syria, by freezing their assets and banning them from traveling.While the resolution called for the use of economic sanctions and military force, if necessary, to ensure that ISIS militants "disarm and disband," it stopped short of authorizing the immediate use of U.N.-sanctioned military action against ISIS.Under the resolution, a team charged with monitoring the activities of ISIS has been ordered to investigate the extremist group's resources, funding and recruitment and report back with recommendations to the Security Council within 90 days.

My main conceren is the meaning of the highlighted part.

  1. When it says short of authorizing the immediate use of U.N.-sanctioned military action against ISIS , is ** U.N.-sanctioned** an adjective, describing the word action?

  2. Could you paraphrase the highligted part?

A million thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


"U.N.-sanctioned" means "U.N. (officially) approved".
See the definition of sanction sense 1.
And yes, it modifies military action (a type of action approved by the U.N.).

As for it stopped short of, it means doing other things (I suppose) but not this one (authorizing). The meaning would be similar to "did not include". Though there is a hint of expectation that the authorizing should have occurred. So to paraphrase:

...it did not include authorizing the immediate use of U.N.-sanctioned military action...

  • Thanks a million, and what about the meaning of "...short of authorizing" ?
    – user5036
    Aug 16, 2014 at 20:28
  • @user5036 I added some additional explanation to my answer.
    – user3169
    Aug 17, 2014 at 13:52

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