The US Treasury on Tuesday slapped new sanctions on figures supporting the Hezbollah militias as part of a crackdown on the group that still supports the Assad regime’s war crimes against Syrian civilians.
The Treasury has added Lebanese businessman Fadi Hussein Serhan to a list of sanctioned foreign nationals for providing material support to Hezbollah. The US government has accused Serhan of aiding the militant group through his Beirut electronics store since 2015.
The US Treasury said that Serhan bought unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and accessories, as well as electronic equipment from companies in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The new US sanctions would freeze all assets of Serhan and companies under US jurisdiction or under the control of individuals in the United States. The sanctions also included a ban on individuals in the United States from dealing with Serhan.
On July 9, the US Treasury sanctioned two Hezbollah representatives in Lebanon’s parliament, as well as a top Hezbollah security official.
Hezbollah MPs Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d were blacklisted as was Hezbollah security official Wafiq Safa, whom the Treasury Department said serves as an interlocutor between the Lebanese paramilitary and the country’s security forces and is part of Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s inner circle.
In May last year, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and senior figures of the party, including Nasrallah’s deputy, Naim Qassem, Head of Hezbollah’s political council, Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, Chairman of the Shariah Board, Muhammad Yazbek, and Nasrallah’s political aide, Hassan Khalil.
The Syrian National Coalition welcomed the Treasury’s move that would weaken Hezbollah’s terrorist militias financially. It said that tightening the economic stranglehold on the party and the drying up its illegal financial resources in the world would rein in its crimes undermining the security and stability of the region in general and Syria in particular.
The United States has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group since 1997. The party is accused of military intervention in the affairs of Arab countries, particularly Syria and Yemen. Hezbollah militants fight alongside Assad’s forces with the aim of suppressing the Syrian revolution since 2013. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)