US imposes sanctions on Hezbollah leaders
Washington: The US on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on three leaders of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for their alleged role in aiding the Syrian government in its crackdown on opposition forces, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The US Treasury formally charged Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and two other members of the organisation -- Mustafa Badr Al-Din and Talal Hamiyah -- of supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces by providing training and logistical support.
The Treasury said Hezbollah has helped Damascus monitor and control the movements of opposition fighters from the Free Syrian Army.
"By aiding Assad's violent campaign against the Syrian people and working to support a regime that will inevitably fall, Hezbollah's ongoing activity undermines regional stability and poses a direct threat to Lebanon's security," the Wall Street Journal quoted Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen as saying.
"Hezbollah's actions, overseen by Hassan Nasrallah and executed by Mustafa Badr Al-Din and Talal Hamiyah, clearly reveal its true nature as a terrorist and criminal organisation," Cohen said.
The sanctions bar Americans from doing business with the three Hezbollah members and freezes any assets they might have in the US, the report said.
Hezbollah has long been on the US terrorism list.
The Obama administration has intensified its scrutiny of the Lebanese financial sector in recent months, concerned that Hezbollah may be using banks in the country to launder proceeds from narcotics smuggling. Hezbollah has denied any role in narcotics trafficking.