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U.S. Treasury Targets Hizballah Commander With Sanctions Over U.S. Deaths In Iraq

Ali Mussa Daqduq
Ali Mussa Daqduq
The United States has imposed sanctions on a Hizballah commander blamed for attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq.

The Treasury Department named Ali Musa Daqduq to its list of people subject to U.S. sanctions.

Iraqi authorities freed Daqduq from custody last week.

David Cohen, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, says Daqduq is "responsible for planning and carrying out numerous acts of terrorism in Iraq."

Iraq released Daqduq from detention on November 15 due to what it called a lack of sufficient evidence for charges that he was behind a 2007 raid that led to the deaths of five U.S. soldiers.

U.S. officials were said to have urged officials in Baghdad -- including through a personal telephone call from Vice President Joseph Biden to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki --
to help hold Daqduq accountable for his alleged crimes.

The designation of Daqduq, under an executive order, freezes any assets he may have in the United States and prohibits U.S. citizens from transactions with him.

Hizballah already is under sanctions as a terrorist organization.

Daqduq was said to have fled Iraq for Beirut after being freed.

Aside from the criminal implications, Daqduq's case is regarded by some as a test of U.S. influence within the Iraqi government, particularly with regard to Hizballah ally Iran.

Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL

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