New U.S. Treasury Department sanctions to target senior Hezbollah leaders

The Hezbollah flag flies in Syria. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The United States Treasury Department has announced new sanctions against three senior Hezbollah leaders.

The sanctions are directed at Mustafa Badr Al Din, Ibrahim Aqil, and Fu’ad Shukr, for their role in supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

“The United States will continue to aggressively target [Hezbollah] for its terrorist activities worldwide as well as its ongoing support to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s ruthless military campaign in Syria,” said Adam Szubin, the Treasury Department’s acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Reuters reported. 

Backed by Iran, Hezbollah has been a key ally for the Syrian government in its fight against rebel groups during that country’s ongoing civil war. While the Lebanese terror group has sustained high causalities in the fighting, many have credited it with helping the Syrian government stay afloat amid growing threats from opposing forces like Islamic State and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.

The American sanctions also come in the aftermath of the recent Iran nuclear deal. Critics have argued that through billions of dollars in sanctions relief, the deal will embolden Iran and strengthen its proxies, including Hezbollah and the Syrian government. But President Barack Obama has said the deal will make it easier for the U.S. to “check Iran’s nefarious activities.”

Posted on July 22, 2015 .