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US Sanctions Iraqi Airline Over Alleged Ties to Militia Groups

fly baghdad

The United States has sanctioned the Iraqi airline Fly Baghdad and its CEO Basheer Abdulkadhim Alwan al-Shabbani over its ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force.

According to a press release from the Department of the Treasury, the airliner has supported the IRGC-QF and proxy groups across the Middle East for years. 

Fly Baghdad aircraft also transported weapons to Damascus International Airport in Syria for members of the IRGC-QF and Iran-aligned militia groups.

In a statement, Fly Baghdad denied the allegations as baseless. The Baghdad-based private airline also vowed to take legal action for material and moral compensation for the sanctions. 

The U.S. also sanctioned three leaders and supporters of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-aligned militia in Iraq, and their respective businesses.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control found Hossein Moanes al-Ibudi, Riyad Ali Hussein al-Azzawi and Awqad Muhsin Faraj al-Hamidawi involved in financing the KH and aiding the militia group’s cross-border smuggling activities.

“Kataib Hezbollah has been responsible for a series of drone and missile attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria since Hamas’ horrific attack on Israel on Oct. 7,” said Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the Department of State.

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