Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades: US sanctions are “ridiculous”

Iraq’s Hezbollah Brigades, a powerful armed faction with close ties to Iran, ignored US sanctions imposed on the group over attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, and said yesterday (Saturday) that such attacks aim to “exhaust the enemy”.

Yesterday (Friday), the United States imposed sanctions on several members of the “Hezbollah Brigades” and another Shiite group supported by Iran and its Secretary General, accusing them of participating in attacks against the United States and its partners in Iraq and Syria.

The United States accuses Iran and the armed factions it supports of having carried out more than 60 attacks since mid-October, with an escalation of tension in the region following the war that began on October 7 between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

At least 59 American soldiers were injured in those attacks, although all have returned to duty. In a statement on the Telegram application on Saturday, Abu Ali Al-Askari, head of security for the Hezbollah Brigades, described the sanctions as “ridiculous” and said the measures would not affect the group’s operations.

The statement adds: “Directing calculated attacks against the resistance in Iraq against its enemies, inflicting casualties among its ranks, destroying its vehicles, or confusing and worrying it all goes along with the strategy of exhausting the enemy in choosing the level of escalation . of the operations, their path and their times.”

Among those linked to Kataib Hezbollah who were hit by sanctions yesterday were a member of the group’s top decision-making body, a foreign affairs official and a military commander who the Treasury Department said was working with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to train fighters.

The US State Department has designated the “Master Martyrs” Brigades and its Secretary General, Abu Alaa al-Wala’i, as global terrorists with a special classification.

In a statement published on the Telegram application the day before yesterday (Friday), Al-Walaei described the inclusion of his name in the US sanctions lists as a “badge of honor” and a matter of pride and pride.

The sanctions freeze all assets owned by the targets in the United States and generally prevent Americans from doing business with them. Those who enter into certain transactions with them also risk being subject to sanctions.

The United States has 900 troops in Syria and another 2,500 troops in neighboring Iraq to provide advice and assistance to local forces trying to prevent the return of ISIS, which took control of large areas of the two countries in 2014 but has been then defeated.

Armed factions in Iraq have linked recent attacks on American bases to Washington’s support for Israel in its war on Gaza, and have said the United States must stop supporting the Israeli attack if it wants the attacks to end.

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