US imposes sanctions on two Syria militant leaders

Washington, Feb 24 (IANS) The United States imposed economic sanctions on two leadership officials of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in Syria, media reports said.

According to a statement by the US Treasury Department on Thursday, Iyad Nazmi Salih Khalil and Bassam Ahmad al-Hasri were responsible for providing key support to Nusra Front by overseeing militant operations and developing the militant group’s strategy, Xinhua news agency reported.

Designating Khalil as Nusra Front’s third highest-ranking official as of early 2016, the statement said he took part in discussions among the group’s senior leadership regarding the group’s overall strategy and the feasibility of establishing an emirate in Idlib, Syria.

Al-Hasri was designated for acting for or on behalf of Nusra Front and oversaw the group’s military operations in southern Syria, the statement added.

As part of the US sanctions, all property of the two men subject to US jurisdiction are blocked and US persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.