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Hezbollah helping Syria, U.S. alleges

Aug. 11, 2012 at 9:17 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The Lebanese Hezbollah political and militant movement is aiding the Syrian government's military assault on civilians, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. State Department Friday announced new sanctions that freeze Hezbollah assets under U.S. jurisdiction, alleging the group was supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with "the continued violence the Assad regime is inflicting on the Syrian population," Voice of America reported.

Joint statements from the State Department and the U.S. Treasury alleged Hezbollah was deeply involved in training Syrian forces and Iran's Revolutionary Guards, The New York Times said.

The Islamist Hezbollah movement is designated as a terrorist group by the United States and many other Western countries.

Additionally, Washington announced further sanctions against Syria's state oil company, Sytrol, alleging it was selling gasoline to Iran, which is also under international sanctions for its expanding nuclear program, the reports said.

The State Department said there were deep concerns about "the close ties shared by the Iranian and Syrian regimes and [the United States] is committed to using every tool available to prevent regional destabilization."

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