Title: U.S. Treasury Designates Iran-Backed Militias Responsible for Attacks in Iraq and Syria
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has recently designated six individuals affiliated with the Iran-aligned militia group Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), based in Iraq. This powerful group is trained, funded, and supported by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and has been responsible for a series of attacks against the United States and its partners in Iraq and Syria. As a response to their actions, the U.S. Department of State has also designated Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) and its leader Hashim Finyan Rahim al-Saraji – another Iran-backed group that has orchestrated attacks on American personnel in the region.
The primary objective of these designations is to send a clear message that the United States will hold accountable any opportunistic actors who exploit situations, such as the ongoing conflict in Gaza, for their own ends. The KH group, which was previously designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in 2009, has continued to launch unprovoked drone and rocket attacks on Iraqi and U.S. military locations in Iraq and Syria.
The six designated individuals are Imad Naji al-Bahadli, a member of KH’s governing Shura Council responsible for planning and conducting attacks; Habib Hasan Mughamis Darraji, KH’s foreign affairs chief who coordinates training and smuggling activities; Ja’afar al-Husayni, KH’s media spokesman who plans attacks against U.S. military personnel; Khalid Kadhim Jasim al-Skeni, a senior KH military commander; Basim Mohammad Hasab al-Majidi, KH’s commercial development chief; and Mojtaba Jahandust, an IRGC-QF official who facilitates travel and training of KH fighters.
This move means that all property and interests in property belonging to the designated individuals in the United States, or controlled by U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Financial institutions and individuals engaging in transactions or activities with these sanctioned entities now risk exposing themselves to sanctions or enforcement actions. Generally, transactions involving designated persons are prohibited unless specifically authorized by OFAC.
By imposing these sanctions, the United States aims to bring about a positive change in behavior from these Iran-backed militias. By targeting their financial resources and limiting their ability to carry out attacks, the hope is to discourage future acts of violence against U.S. and partner forces in the region.
As tensions continue to simmer in the Middle East, the U.S. government is prioritizing the safety and security of its personnel and partners. These designations serve as a strong statement that actions promoting instability and endangering American lives will not go unpunished.
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