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US sanctions Syrian officials, blacklists chief of extremist group.

| WASHINGTON, May 17 (KUNA) -- The United States designated Thursday four senior Syrian officials, two entities and al-Nusrah Front leader sanctioning them for backing regime of Bashar Al-Assad in suppressing people or involvement in terrorism.

The Treasury Department designated four senior officials of the Syrian government; Minister of Defense Fahd Jassem al-Freij, Minister of Health Sa'ad Abdel-Salam al-Nayef, Minister of Industry Adnan Abdo Al-Sukhni and Minister of Justice Najm Hamad al-Ahmad, pursuant to E.O. 13573, which targets the Syrian regime's "continuing escalation of violence against the Syrian people." The Treasury also designated the Syrian government-owned Syrian Arab Airlines "responsible for transporting weaponry to the Assad regime" and Al-Dunya Television, a privately owned 24-hour, satellite channel that began transmission in March 2007 for "providing services to the Syrian government, including the despicable practice of airing forced confessions." In this regard, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement that the Treasury "will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to expose and disrupt the financial networks of those responsible for the Syrian government's egregious campaign to suppress its people." "We are determined to target activity contributing to the abhorrent humanitarian situation in Syria, whether by overseeing the Assad government's indiscriminate killing of civilians, shipping weapons to the Syrian government, abusing positions of trust to supply intelligence to the regime, or disseminating the regime's propaganda," he stressed.

Furthermore, the Department of State has designated al-Nusrah Front leader Muhammad al-Jawlani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. It said in a statement that al-Jawlani "has stated in videos that his ultimate goal is the overthrow of the Syrian regime and the institution of Islamist Shari'a law throughout the country," and he has been "specifically tasked by al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) to carry out these objectives." "Under al-Jawlani's leadership, al-Nusrah Front has carried out multiple suicide attacks throughout Syria," in which "many of these attacks have killed innocent Syrian civilians," it said, adding that "recently al-Jawlani publicly pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's leader." To date, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on the Government of Syria, including its Central Bank and oil companies, and more than 100 individuals and entities under a "number of our authorities." (end) si.rk KUNA 171017 May 13NNNN

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:May 17, 2013
Words:391
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