Schenker Says U.S. Sanctions Will 'Absolutely' Hit Hizbullah Allies
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker has confirmed that new U.S. sanctions will “absolutely” target allies of Hizbullah regardless of their “sect,” in an apparent reference to the Iran-backed group’s Shiite and Christian allies.
In an interview with LBCI television, Schenker added that the sanctions will not affect Washington’s relation with the Lebanese government, while noting that Hizbullah is not being able to pay salaries to fighters or funds to its social institutions through Lebanese banks.
Schenker also called for expanding UNIFIL’s mandate to allow the peacekeeping force to enter private properties, noting that everything that Hizbullah possesses in Lebanon is also being labeled private property.
Adding that Lebanon is an important country to the U.S., the State Department official said he can officially reassure that the situation will not be similar to that in 1991, when Washington turned a blind eye to Syria’s hegemony over Lebanon.
As for the demarcation of the maritime border with Israel, Schenker said he visited Lebanon to facilitate the negotiations, adding that President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri were responsive to the suggestions.