US imposes new sanctions on 4 Syrians

Individuals accused of helping smuggle weapons, money and terrorists into Iraq to assist al-Qaida.

iraq al qaida 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
iraq al qaida 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
The United States on Thursday announced it was imposing economic sanctions on four individuals it accused of helping with the flow of money, weapons, terrorists and other resources from Syria into Iraq. It marked the administration's latest attempt to block efforts by groups in Syria from undermining the government of Iraq. The action will freeze any assets the four individuals have under US jurisdiction and prohibit Americans and US firms from engaging in business transactions with the four men. "Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Syria has become a transit station for al-Qaida foreign terrorists on their way to Iraq," Stuart Levey, the administration's point person on terrorist financing, said in a statement. Levey, Treasury's undersecretary of terrorism and financial intelligence, said that a network in Syria was "going to great lengths to facilitate the flow through Syria of money, weapons, and terrorists intent on killing US and coalition forces and innocent Iraqis." A Treasury fact sheet identified the four individuals being targeted for economic sanctions as Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, Ghazy Fezza Hishan al-Mazidih, Akram Turki Hishan al-Mazidih and Saddah Jaylut al-Marsumi. Treasury said each of the four individuals also use other names. President George W. Bush earlier this month signed an economic order that expanded penalties against senior government officials in Syria and their associates who are judged to have benefited from public corruption. Last week, Treasury announced that it was freezing any assets held in the United States by Rami Makluf, one of the most powerful and influential businessmen in Syria, who controls the country's mobile phone network as well as other lucrative enterprises. He is also the first cousin of Syrian President Syrian President Bashar Assad.