The following is an English-language version of Levant Network research prepared for Akhbar Alaan.
An alleged frontman for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sanctioned Thursday by the US is one of the owners of a Lebanese firm linked to a Hezbollah operative.
Lebanese corporate register data reviewed by Levant Networks for Akhbar Alaan reveals that Yasar Hussein Ibrahim owns one-third of the shares for Hokoul SAL Offshore.
The US Department of the Treasury sanctioned Hokoul SAL Offshore in September 2019, accusing it of being one “front companies run by Hezbollah official” Muhammad Qasim al-Bazzal.
“Al-Bazzal and other Hezbollah officials have control over the contractual and financial obligations of Hokoul,” the US Department of the Treasury added.
Hokoul SAL Offshore was sanctioned by the US for being part of a “large shipping network that is directed by and financially supports the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.”
The US said that the Qods Force used the network to move hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil for the benefit of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah.
According to Washington, Hokoul helped supply Syria with Iranian crude oil under the supervision of the Qods Force.
Ibrahim co-owns Hokoul SAL Offshore along with his sister Rana and Syrian businessman Wassem Nadhir al-Dorf, according to Lebanon’s online corporate register.
The US sanctioned Ibrahim on Thursday as part of its third round of Caesar Act sanctions against the Syrian regime.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Ibrahim “uses his networks across the Middle East and beyond” to help broker “corrupt deals that enrich Assad.”
According to the editor-in-chief of pro-opposition outlet All4Syria, Ibrahim is a friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife Asma.
In an article for the Middle East Institute, Ayman Abdel Nour wrote that Ibrahim and his sister Nesrine “were awarded the rights to go into many businesses” due to their ties to Asma al-Assad.
Ibrahim’s sister Nesrine became the chairwoman of MTN Syria, one of the country’s two main telecom companies, in May.