The US on Monday announced sanctions against Iraqi airline Fly Baghdad and the militia Kataib Hezbollah, which have been accused of supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force as well as auxiliary groups in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Washington has accused Fly Baghdad of being involved in the transfer of hundreds of fighters – including those belonging to designated terrorist organisations – in support of Iranian proxy groups in the region following the attacks on Israel on October 7.

Fly Baghdad chief executive Basheer Abdulkadhim Al Shabbani has also been sanctioned and two Iraq-registered aircraft owned by the airline have been listed as blocked property.

“Iran and its proxies have sought to abuse regional economies and use seemingly legitimate businesses as cover for funding and facilitating their attacks,” said Brian Nelson, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury Department.

Fly Baghdad is accused of supporting the IRGC-Quds Force “for several years” through the delivery of weapons shipments to Damascus to support the groups and other Iran-aligned militia groups in Syria.

The airline has been used by Kataib Hezbollah to transfer personnel, weapons and funds to Syria and Lebanon in support of the Syrian regime, the US said.

Kataib Hezbollah has carried out a series of drone and missile attacks against the US in Iraq and Syria since October 7.

The US has responded with strikes of its own, killing two members of the group near Baghdad in November. It also bombed Kataib Hezbollah sites in December after an attack wounded US troops in Erbil.

Three leaders and one supporter of the Iranian-aligned militia were also sanctioned.

US, UK and Australia announce actions against Hamas financing

On Monday, the Treasury Department said it has joined the UK and Australia in a fifth round of sanctions against Hamas financial networks and financial exchanges in Gaza.

Those named in the sanctions include the IRGC-Quds Force and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“Treasury, in close co-ordination with our allies and partners, will continue to leverage our authorities to target Hamas, its financiers and its international financial infrastructure,” Mr Nelson said.

Hamas has been accused of using money exchange offices in the occupied West Bank and Gaza to deliver funds for terrorist groups.

It has also used cryptocurrencies to transfer some of the funding since at least 2020, the Treasury said.

The UK and Australia have also sanctioned Hamas officials and facilitators.

Source » thenationalnews