U.S. committee Ok’s sanctions against Hezbollah
Hezbollah openly joined battle in neighboring Syria alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces last year
The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has approved an amendment to a resolution aimed at Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah that prevents the organization from receiving any financing through international institutions, Lebanon’s The Daily Star reported on Thursday.
The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act was initially introduced by representative Mark Meadows last April.
“The threat posed by Hezbollah’s global operations has exploded … the bill targets those financial institutions that knowingly do business with what has been called the ‘A-team’ of terrorists,” Committee Chairman Ed Royce said, according to the Lebanese daily.
The act halts the operations of “Hezbollah’s logistic and financial network” and aims to “combat Hezbollah's criminal activities in order to block that organization's ability to fund its global terrorist activities,” according to the summary of the U.S. policy.
Earlier in May, pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported that Saudi Arabia imposed its first financial sanctions against residents of the kingdom who have links to Hezbollah, in a bid to crack down on the financial activities of the Lebanese group.
The Iranian-backed group openly joined battle in neighboring Syria alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces last year, in a move criticized by many Lebanese politicians and international sides.
Lebanon’s former President Michel Sleiman had repeatedly urged Hezbollah to withdraw its forces from Syria in order to avoid repercussions on the small Mediterranean country.
However, Hezbollah’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has vowed to keep his fighters in Syria as long as needed to shore up Assad's struggle against the rebels there.