U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Lebanese Firm for Hizbullah Ties

(Reuters) -

The United States on Thursday imposed financial sanctions on a Lebanese consumer electronics company, saying it purchased supplies used to develop military drones for the militant Hezbollah movement.

Stars Group Holding secretly bought electronics in the United States, Canada and Europe to help Hizbullah make drones for military activities in Syria and to conduct surveillance operations in Israel, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.

The company is based in Beirut and is owned and operated by brothers Kamel Mohamad Amhaz and Issam Mohamad Amhaz, the Treasury said. Washington also targeted the company’s six subsidiaries, including Unique Stars Mobile Phones LLC in Dubai and Stars International Ltd in China.

The sanctions freeze any assets held by the companies, the Amhaz brothers or three others sanctioned, under U.S. jurisdiction and forbid Americans from dealing with the firms.

Stars Group Holding sells cell phones and tablets. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Washington considers Hizbullah a terrorist group and has sought to persuade allies to adopt the same label, in part by highlighting what it says are illegal or destabilizing actions carried out by the group beyond Lebanon’s borders.