US Treasury targets Syria oil delivery networks with new sanctions

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The US Treasury Department said on Thursday it was imposing sanctions on four people and five entities it said facilitated petroleum shipments and financing to the Syrian government.

It said in a statement the sanctions targeted Muhammad al-Qatirji and his trucking company, which it said facilitated fuel trade between the Syrian government and ISIS militants.

Qatirji has close relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and has worked directly with ISIS, which has been driven out of much of the Syrian territory it once controlled, to provide it oil products, the statement said.

Also targeted by sanctions was a fuel-procurement network that operates in Syria and Lebanon to secure deliveries to Syria, the statement said.

"The United States will continue to target those who facilitate transactions with the murderous Assad regime and support ISIS," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The Syria-based Qatirji Company has also shipped weapons to Syria from Iraq, the statement said.

It said Abar Petroleum Service SAL, one of the entities involved in the multi-state fuel network, last year brokered shipments of petroleum products including gasoline, gasoil, and liquefied petroleum gas to Syria worth more than $30 million.

Other components of the network were Adnan Al-Ali, Sonex Investments Ltd, Nasco Polymers & Chemicals, and Fadi Nasser, the US statement said.

"Lebanon-based Nasco Polymers and UAE-based Sonex Investments were designated for facilitating shipments to Syrian ports by serving as consignees and chartering the vessels," it said.

Nasser, chairman of Nasco Polymers, has received millions of dollars for arranging delivery of thousands of tons of fuel to Syria, the statement said.

The sanctions mean any property in the United States of those targeted will be blocked and Americans are prohibited from doing business with them.

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