News / Middle East

US Cites Hezbollah Support for Assad in New Sanctions Announcement

WHITE HOUSE — The United States on Friday announced new sanctions targeting the Assad government in Syria and detailed how Hezbollah -- already designated a terrorist organization by the United States -- has supported the Syrian government crackdown on opposition forces.

The State Department said Syria's state oil company, Sytrol, is being sanctioned for its role in providing gasoline to Iran, a key supporter of the Assad government.

A statement said the Syrian company's activities allow Iran to continue developing its nuclear program while helping President Bashar al-Assad and his government oppress Syria's people.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Hezbollah for its role in providing support to the Syrian government.  These freeze Hezbollah assets under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit Americans and U.S. companies from dealing with the group.

The Lebanese-based group has been formally designated as a terrorist organization for years and is already subject to sanctions.  

Friday's action highlights what Washington calls Hezbollah's "integral role in the continued violence the Assad regime is inflicting on the Syrian population."  

The State Department mentioned Hezbollah training, advice and extensive logistical support, including facilitating training of Syrian government troops by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force.

Press secretary Jay Carney responded this way when asked if the new measures would have real rather than symbolic effects. "No single sanction is going to by itself prevent Assad from getting his last bit of financing, but together collectively the sanctions enhance pressure," Carney said.

George Lopez, Professor of Peace Studies at Notre Dame, says the U.S. actions are designed to send another clear signal to supporters of Syria's president.

"The fact that it occurs right after the day after the Iranian conference, where they tried to build the picture that there are many supporters of the Damascus regime, I think Washington sends a signal to others who were there that you don't become a supporter of Damascus without it potentially incurring some real costs to you," Lopez said.

Lopez called the timing of the U.S. actions significant as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared for talks with Turkish government officials and Syrian opposition activists.

Clinton is expected to announce more than $5 million in new humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees fleeing fighting.  Britain Friday announced it is providing nearly $8 million in communications equipment and medical supplies.

The United States has continued to rule out moving beyond non-lethal aid to the opposition.

In remarks this week, President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said the president has taken no options off the table, including consideration of a "no-fly zone."

"You can imagine that just like happened in Libya, the situation in Syria has been now evolving over the past number of months and the U.S. government always looks at situations and looks at what types of scenarios might unfold and then accordingly looks at what type of contingency plans might be available to deal with certain circumstances," Brennan said.

Jay Carney cautioned reporters on Friday not to "over-interpret" Brennan's remarks about a no-fly zone, saying he was making the point the administration has stressed all along that President Obama and his advisers are constantly evaluating all options.

In previous actions, the U.S. barred Syria's central bank and top Syrian government officials from access to U.S. markets.  Mr. Obama also targeted individuals or entities helping the Syrian and Iranian governments use technology to act against the opposition.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 13, 2012 8:04 AM
A no fly zone will definitely clip the wings of Hezbollah. This will be the most welcome development of the Syrian Arab Spring, and people will be happy to see not just the US but also the EU expedite action on it. It will go a long way to bring the much needed peace in the Middle East, especially given Syria's location in central places of the region. That way, not only will it ensure Saudi Arabia's security, Jordan and other weaker and threatened regional players will benefit.


by: Stephan Lubeck from: Germany
August 11, 2012 5:08 PM
throughout it all Israel - arrayed like a queen - has behaved like a queen as well... God Bless you Israel


by: Paulina from: USA
August 10, 2012 10:25 PM
isn't it about time...??? hey, idiots, the Hizbos have killed more Americans than Al Qaida!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid