The European Union on Monday declared the military wing of Hezbollah a terrorist organization, a move designed to put pressure on the Shiite political and militant group after years of urging from the United States and Israel.

The unanimous decision by foreign ministers of the 28-nation EU, confirmed by Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, will place travel restrictions on members of the military wing of Hezbollah and will freeze EU assets associated with that part of the group.

It comes at a time when Hezbollah has significantly escalated its backing for Syrian President Bashar Assad in the sectarian civil war there and has increased its efforts to carry out attacks on Israelis and Iranian-chosen targets around the world, according to assessments by U.S. intelligence officials.