United States stepped against Hezbollah slapping rewards on leaders

Vastavam web:  The United States stepped up its rhetoric against Hezbollah, slapping rewards on two commanders and urging allies to blacklist the Lebanese armed group.President Donald Trump is due to unveil a new strategy to counter Iran later this week, but in the meantime senior officials singled out Tehran’s ally in Syria and Lebanon.Since then Hezbollah has become a powerful military force in the region and been implicated in several international attacks but also a fixture in Lebanese politics.

Some US allies impose sanctions on Hezbollah’s “military wing” while tolerating the group’s role as a political party representing many Lebanese Shiites in government.”Countering Hezbollah is a top priority for the Trump administration,” Sales told reporters, announcing the rewards for two alleged top-level Hezbollah operatives.Sales said the State Department would pay 7 million for information that leads to Talal Hamiyah, alleged head of Hezbollah’s “External Security Organization.” Talal Hamiyah’s US Treasury terror blacklist designation lists four possible dates of birth between November 1952 and March 1960, and three potential Lebanese birthplaces.

It describes his unit as the ESO as “the Hezbollah element responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of terrorist attacks outside of Lebanon.””These are the first Hezbollah-related rewards under the Rewards for Justice Program in a decade,” Sales said.”Some countries have chosen to designate only Hezbollah’s military wing, leaving its so-called ‘political wing’ untouched. But that is a false distinction,” he said.”Make no mistake: Hezbollah has no political wing. It is a single organization, a terrorist organization, and it is rotten to its core,” he argued.The officials’ comments will be seen as setting the tone ahead of Trump’s announcement of his new Iran strategy, which will be aimed at rolling back Tehran’s influence.