Washington, Jan 6 (IANS): The US government has designated the Al Qaeda Kurdish Battalions (AQKB), which operates between Iraq and Iran, as a "specially designated global terrorist entity" that will be subject to US sanctions.
"As a result of the designation, any assets that AQKB holds under US jurisdiction are frozen and US persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the organisation. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to AQKB," Xinhua quoted a state department statement as saying.
The action taken against the organisation demonstrated the US' resolve in eliminating AQKB's ability to execute violent attacks, the statement said.
Established in 2007 from the remnants of other terrorist organisations, the AQKB has sworn allegiance publicly to other terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda.
"Operating along the border between Iran and Iraq, AQKB believes the leaders of the Kurdistan regional government are traitors and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks against Kurdish targets in Iraq," the statement said.
The statement listed a series of attacks launched by AQKB, including a May 2007 attack in Erbil, Iraq, in which 19 people were killed when a vehicle loaded with explosives struck the Kurdish interior and security ministries.
In July 2007, AQKB killed seven border guards and one Patriotic Union of Kurdistan security force member in an ambush in Penjwan, Iraq. In September 2010, two police officers were injured in a foiled AQKB suicide bomb attack targeting security officers in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, the statement added.