U.S. blacklists Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria

The move aims to weaken ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Nusra Front

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The United States on Monday targeted two Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) spokesman, following similar actions by the U.N. Security Council last week.

The move aims to weaken ISIS - an al Qaeda splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate - and al Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Nusra Front.

Along with al-Adnani’s U.S. designation, he will be added to the U.N. Sanctions list, requiring all member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against him, a release from the State Department said.

The State Department said it was adding the two men, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani and Nusra Front member Said Arif, to its list of ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” The label imposes a travel ban on them, and freezes any assets they may hold in the United States.

“The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with al-Adnani and the freezing of all property and interests of al-Adnani that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons,” a State Department release said.

A parallel move from the U.S. Treasury Department also prohibits U.S. firms and people from dealing with the men.

(With Reuters)

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