WASHINGTON, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Wednesday slapped sanctions on two key al-Qaida figures operating in Syria, with a view to undermining the group's efforts to move money and fighters to Iraq and Syria.
The Department of Treasury blacklisted Abd Al-Rahman Muhammad Zafir Al-Dubaysi Al-Juhni and 'Abd Al-Rahman Mustafa Al-Qaduli as global terrorists, a move that comes with sanctions freezing all of their assets under U.S. jurisdiction and barring U.S. citizens from doing business with them.
The agency said Al-Juhni was among a group of senior al-Qaida members in Syria formed in mid-2013 to conduct external operations against Western targets and mediate tensions between Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), two extremist groups engaging in fighting against the Syrian government.
Al-Qaduli was described as a senior ISIL official who returned to the group, formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq, following his release from prison in early 2012 and traveled to Syria to work for its network in the war-torn country.
"We are very concerned about al-Qaida networks moving money and fighters to extremist groups in Syria," David Cohen, under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.