November 10, 2016 / 6:27 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. Treasury sanctions four al Nusra Front leaders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury said on Thursday it had imposed sanctions on four leaders of al Nusra Front under regulations targeting people suspected by the United States of engaging in terrorist activity or supporting terrorist groups.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control said the sanctions were aimed at disrupting al Nusra Front’s military, recruitment and financing activities. The regulations bar U.S. citizens from engaging in business with people sanctioned by the office.

The Treasury’s actions were made in coordination with the U.S. State Department, which on Thursday named Jabhat Fatah al Sham as an alias of al Nusra Front. The United States considers Nusra Front to be al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

Nusra Front said in July it was breaking ties with al Qaeda and changing its name to Jabhat Fatah al Sham in an effort to deny the United States and Russia a pretext to attack it. But Washington has not recognized the change.

The Treasury said in a statement it was imposing sanctions on four Nusra Front leaders:

- Abdallah Muhammad bin-Sulayman al-Muhaysini, a member of al Nusra Front’s inner leadership circle who was involved in recruiting fighters for the group in northern Syria;

- Jamal Husayn Zayniyah, a Nusra Front leader who was responsible for planning operations in al Qalamun, Syria, and Lebanon;

- Abdul Jashari, a military adviser for Nusra Front in Syria who has helped raise funds for the families of fighters of the group;

- Ashraf Ahmad Fari al Allak, a Nusra Front military commander in Dara Province, Syria.

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney

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