Syrian businessman George Haswani, who is facing European Union sanctions, speaks to The Associated Press in his Damascus office, Tuesday Mar. 10, 2015 in Damascus, Syria. (AP Photo)
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A Syrian businessman facing European Union sanctions denied Tuesday allegations that he bought oil from ISIS for President Bashar Assad's government.The EU put sanctions last week on George Haswani and six other prominent Syrian businessmen, freezing their assets and banning them from traveling to Europe. It also froze the assets of six companies also viewed as sponsors of the Syrian government.The EU said in its official journal that Haswani, co-owner of HESCO Engineering and Construction Co., a major engineering and construction company in Syria, has close ties to the government.Much of the oil is smuggled out of ISIS-held territory in northern Syria to neighboring Turkey. Syrian opposition and Western officials long have accused Assad's government of secretly acquiring fuel from the group as well.
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