The United States is determined to undermine the financial and military capabilities of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist group founded by Iran that has long conducted terrorist acts against Israel and other countries, and is currently assisting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal campaign against the Syrian people.
On July 10, The U.S. Treasury Department targeted a key Hezbollah procurement network: a Beirut-based network of companies called Stars Group Holding, with subsidiaries in China and the United Arab Emirates. The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the two brothers who head the network – Kamel and Issam Mohamad Amhaz, the subsidiaries of their group, and certain managers and individuals who support their illicit activity. The action was taken under Executive Order 13224 which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
The sanctions prohibit any U.S. company or person from conducting transactions with the network or with the designated individuals, and all the assets of those designated that are based in the United States, or in control by U.S. persons, are frozen.
The Treasury Department said in a statement that Hezbollah has used the Stars Group Holding network “to covertly purchase sophisticated electronics and other technology from suppliers across the world. Items obtained by Hezbollah using the Stars Group Holding network have directly supported the group’s military capabilities, including the development of unmanned aerial vehicles, which have been used most recently to support Hezbollah’s military activities in Syria and to conduct surveillance operations in Israel.”
Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said, “This global terrorist activity and expanding criminal network belie Hezbollah’s claimed purpose as a national liberation movement. It is critical that countries throughout the world work together to combat this dangerous organization and sever it from sources of revenue and support.”
In a separate statement, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the designations of the Stars Group Holding network and the individuals who support their unlawful activity illustrate “yet again the extent of Hezbollah’s international presence and reach. We call on our partners to take action against Hezbollah’s illicit networks, which fuel its violent political agenda and enhance its ability to engage in destabilizing activities in Syria, throughout the Middle East more broadly and around the world.