New US sanctions on Hezbollah for supporting Assad

Associated Press
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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is announcing sanctions on Hezbollah for providing support to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

The move is symbolic. Washington has already designated the Lebanese militant group a terrorist organization.

The Treasury Department condemned Hezbollah's training, advice and "extensive logistical support" to the Assad regime amid a crackdown on dissenters. It said Hezbollah has facilitated training of Syrian forces by Iran's hardline Quds Force.

The department's sanctions chief, David S. Cohen, said Hezbollah's assistance to Assad "exposes the true nature of this terrorist organization and its destabilizing presence in the region."

Friday's action bans Americans from doing business with Hezbollah and blocks any assets it has in the U.S.

Those rules have been in effect since the U.S. declared Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization in the 1990s.