On Thursday the United States announced new sanctions targeting two Iran-backed foreign fighter militias in Syria and two airlines that help send weapons to Syria in fresh sanctions as Washington prepares for a military withdrawal from the war-torn country.
All four groups are linked to Iran’s Mahan Air and Iran’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, both of which are already blacklisted, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.
The Fatemiyoun Division and Zaynabiyoun Brigade are being designated for providing material support to the IRGC-QF, the statement said.
Fatemiyoun is the name of the militia that mostly comprises of Afghan mercenaries while the Zaynabiyoun Brigade mainly comprises of Pakistani mercenaries fighting for Iran in Syria.
“Treasury’s targeting of Iran-backed militias and other foreign proxies is part of our ongoing pressure campaign to shut down the illicit networks the regime uses to export terrorism and unrest across the globe,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Since President Donald Trump announced that Washington will withdraw its roughly 2,000 troops in Syria, the administration has tried to allay concerns that Islamic State militants could stage a comeback in the region, or that Iran and Russia will benefit from the US departure.