US blacklists Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria

US blacklists Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria
An Islamic State fighter

WASHINGTON - The United States on Monday targeted two Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria, including the Islamic State spokesman, following similar actions by the UN Security Council last week.

The move aims to weaken the Islamic State - an al Qaeda splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate - and al Qaeda's Syrian wing, Nusra Front.

The State Department said it was adding the two men, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani and Nusra Front member Said Arif, to its list of 'Specially Designated Global Terrorists." The label imposes a travel ban on them, and freezes any assets they may hold in the United States.

A parallel move from the US Treasury Department also prohibits US firms and people from dealing with the men.

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