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)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Communities Office held several meetings with representatives of the Syrian communities in the Turkish provinces of Mersin and Hatay and discussed with them the situation of Syrian refugees and residents in Turkey. They also discussed the importance of bringing all Syrians under the roof of the communities and engaging them in the decision-making.
The Coordinator of the Office, Mohammad Yahya Maktabi, stressed the importance of continuous communication between the Coalition and all Syrian communities across Turkey. He underscored the importance of Syrian communities everywhere in the world as “having a pivotal role in the current phase and in the future.”
Maktabi said that these communities have important roles in the social and cultural framework, especially in terms of bringing Syrians together under one roof, stressing that the communities should serve as the umbrella bringing together all Syrians.
Participants in the meeting reviewed the results of the latest meeting the Coalition President Anas al-Abdah held with the Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, especially the formation of the Syrian-Turkish Joint Committee to follow up on the affairs of Syrian refugees in Turkey and solve the problems facing them.
Maktabi stressed that there is no change in Turkish state policies with regards to the Syrian refugees pointing out that the Syrian-Turkish Joint Committee is now receiving all Syrian requests to discuss and develop appropriate solutions.
Moreover, Maktabi listened to some of the problems facing the Syrian refugees and to proposals and solutions to these problems. He promised to pass these problems to the joint committee and the Turkish authorities in order to discuss them and find the best solutions.
The participants also reviewed the latest political developments in Syria and the formation of the Constitutional Committee. Maktabi stressed that the Assad regime continues to obstruct all international efforts to reinvigorate the political process.
He pointed out that the Assad regime and its allies’ insistence on stalling the political process confirmed their attempts to impose a political solution outside the framework of international resolutions and their insistence on bloody military solutions, the latest of which are the brutal bombings in Idlib and rural Hama. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee took part in the annual technical meeting organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. The meeting, which brought together the Arab and Islamic missions in Mecca, came as part of joint preparations for the Day of Arafat and the other hajj rituals.
Hussein bin Nasser Al-Sharif, the Undersecretary of Hajj affairs at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, stressed that the Ministry’s top priority is ensuring the safety of pilgrims. “We conducted this meeting to brief all Arab and Islamic missions on the executive plans to ensure the safety of pilgrims. We assure you that the safety of pilgrims is Saudi Arabia’s number one priority.”
“The groups management is of paramount importance and needs the combined efforts of all relevant departments and sectors in cooperation with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah,” Al-Sharif said, noting that focusing on last year's positive aspects will help us “avoid any possible shortfalls in this season.”
The Committee also organized two meetings in Mecca, bringing together the heads of the Syrian Hajj groups as well as members of the religious mission and mission guides.
The Committee stressed the importance of full compliance with the laws in Saudi Arabia and the procedures laid out by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for the 2019 hajj season.
Samer Birqdar, Director of the Syrian Hajj, stressed that adherence to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s plan for the grouping of pilgrims is essential for the success of the Syrian pilgrimage for this season.” He added: “We are adhering to the instructions given by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah with the aim of ensuring the safety of Syrian pilgrims.”
Birqdar urged the heads of the Syrian groups to adhere to the laws and procedures set forth by the Supreme Hajj Committee and the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah throughout the hajj rituals with the aim of making this year’s hajj season a success by all standards,”
The last batch of intending Syrian pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. A total of 22,500 Syrian pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia coming from all regions of Syria. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)