US freezes assets of Syrian security chief
The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Wednesday named Assef Shawkat a "Specially Designated National (SDN)" of Syria for directly furthering the Government of Syria's support for "terrorism and interference in the sovereignty of Lebanon. "
"As the Director of Syrian Military Intelligence, Shawkat has been a key architect of Syria's domination of Lebanon, as well as a fundamental contributor to Syria's long-standing policy to foment terrorism against Israel," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).
This designation freezes any assets Shawkat may have located under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with him.
Major General Assef Shawkat is the Director of Syrian Military Intelligence (SMI), the strongest and most influential security service in Syria. Shawkat, 56, is President Assad's brother in law. The US statement said Shawkat has directed and significantly contributed to Syria's support for "terrorism", including coordination with Hizballah, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command ("PFLP-GC"), Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
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