WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on four leaders of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for alleged operations in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The U.S. Treasury Department said the sanctions target senior members of Hezbollah responsible for activities including assisting fighters from Iraq to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where civil war has raged for more than two years.
The designated Hezbollah leaders also made payments to certain factions within Yemen and to military leaders responsible for "terrorist operations" in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Iraq, the Treasury said in a statement.
The sanctions were set against Khalil Harb, Mohammed Kawtharani, Mohammed Mansur and Mohammed Qabalan.
Hezbollah, which the U.S. has branded a terrorist group, was using its expansive global network to extend its "malign influence," and the influence of its patron Iran, throughout the Middle East and beyond, the Treasury said.
"Whether ferrying foreign fighters to the front lines of the Syrian civil war or inserting clandestine operatives in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere, Hezbollah remains a significant global terrorist threat," David Cohen, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in the statement.
"So long as Hezbollah spreads instability, conducts terrorist attacks and engages in criminal and illicit activities around the world, we will continue to sanction Hezbollah's operatives, leaders and businesses, wherever they may be found."
The sanctions prohibit Americans from having transactions with the four designated Hezbollah leaders and freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.