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US slaps sanctions on Hezbollah over Syria

Last Updated: Saturday, August 11, 2012 - 13:43

Washington: The US on Saturday imposed a new set of economic sanctions against Hezbollah for providing support to Syria`s government, the Obama administration`s latest move aimed at stopping President Bashar al-Assad from violently suppressing Syrian people.

The US is committed to take every step to isolate the Assad regime, the White House said as the Obama Administration announced a new sanctions.

"We are committed to take every step we can to isolate the regime, starve it of resources to finance its brutal crackdown on the Syrian people, and to expose those who continue to support someone who is surely one of the most brutal and bloody dictators operating in the world today," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference.

The White House comments came as the Department of Treasury designated the terrorist group Hizbollah for providing support to the Government of Syria.

"Hizbollah`s extensive support to the Syrian government’s violent suppression of the Syrian people exposes the true nature of this terrorist organisation and its destabilising presence in the region," said the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.

"Long after the Assad regime is gone, the people of Syria and the entire global community will remember that Hizbollah, and its patron Iran, contributed to the regime’s murder of countless innocent Syrians," he said.

The purpose for these sanctions, he said, is to continue to press the Assad regime, to continue to isolate it.

"Every time we take a new step that addresses or comes within the rubric of a financial sanction, it has an impact on the resources that Assad has to finance his crackdown. No single sanction is going to, by itself, prevent Assad from, you know, getting his last bit of financing," he said.

"The sanctions that we periodically announce as we look for other means of pressuring Assad are part of a broader effort that includes diplomatic efforts; it includes increasing our humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, increasing our nonlethal assistance and support for the opposition as part of a broader effort to bring about that day that must come when Assad steps aside and a political transition is allowed to take place," the White House spokesman said.

Carney said the US is constantly looking at ways to put pressure on the Syrian regime.

"We constantly looking at other ways of putting pressure on Assad, isolating Assad, both unilaterally as well as with our partners," he said.


First Published: Saturday, August 11, 2012 - 13:43

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