US imposes sanctions on Iraq-based money exchange for Daesh ties

A vendor inspects Iranian rials at a currency exchange shop in Baghdad, Iraq August 8, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 17 October 2018
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US imposes sanctions on Iraq-based money exchange for Daesh ties

  • The Treasury action followed a Pentagon decision on Oct. 11 targeting a financial group supporting Daesh

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury imposed sanctions on Wednesday on an Iraq-based money services business, Afaq Dubai, believed to be moving funds for the Daesh militant group.
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Afaq Dubai to its list of specially designated global terrorists for “assisting in, sponsoring or providing financial, material or technical support” for the Daesh group, the department said in a statement.
The Treasury action followed a Pentagon decision on Oct. 11 targeting a financial group supporting Daesh. The Treasury said the moves are part of a broader US effort to target a network of money services businesses that enable Daesh to carry out operations across the Middle East.
In September, the Treasury took action against Daesh financial facilitators with ties in the Caribbean and the Middle East. It took action against a money exchange group in Syria in December 2016.
The Treasury said Afaq Dubai is located in Iraq and does not have branches in the United Arab Emirates, despite its name. Afaq Dubai is run by two Daesh financiers and as of early 2018 was laundering money for the group and providing money for families in the group, the Treasury said.


Several killed in blast in northwest Syria

Updated 57 min 12 sec ago
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Several killed in blast in northwest Syria

  • It was not clear if the cause of the blast near the market in the town of Jisr Al-Shughur was a car bomb, or a vehicle carrying explosives
  • All except one were civillians

BEIRUT: Fifteen people, all but two civilians, were killed in an explosion in the jihadist-held region of Idlib in northwest Syria on Wednesday, a war monitor said.
The cause of the blast in the town of Jisr Al-Shughur was not immediately clear, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“The explosion hit next to the market,” killing 13 civilians, including the daughter of a foreign fighter, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
“It is not known until now whether it was a car bomb, or the explosion of a car carrying explosives,” he added.
The Idlib region is under administrative control of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.
But the Turkestan Islamic Party, a group of foreign jihadists from the ethnic Uighur Muslim minority, also has a large presence in Jisr Al-Shughur.
The Islamic State jihadist group has sleeper cells in the wider Idlib region.
Idlib has since September been protected from a massive regime offensive by a fragile cease-fire deal signed by Damascus ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey.
But the region of some three million people has come under increasing bombardment since HTS took full control of it in January.
On Tuesday, regime shelling killed seven civilians, including four children, in the town of Khan Sheikhun.
Increased regime shelling on Khan Sheikhun has sparked one of the largest waves of displacement since the September deal.
Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since the conflict began with the repression of anti-government protests in 2011.