U.S. coalition blocks roadway of Daesh convoy

President Reuven RIvlin with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the President's Residence in Jerusalem

A coalition spokesman, Colonel Ryan Dillon, threatened Wednesday that a convoy of buses and ambulances carrying hundreds of ISIS fighters and their families was a legitimate target for USA forces.

The U.S. -led coalition said Wednesday it carried out airstrikes to disrupt a convoy of Islamic State militants being evacuated from the Lebanon-Syria border to an IS-held area in eastern Syria near Iraq, without targeting the evacuees themselves.

Hundreds of jihadists started leaving the area on Monday, heading by bus for Syria's eastern province of Deir Ezzor, which borders Iraq and is the only Syrian province still under I.S. control.

Hezbollah, a Shiite movement founded in the 1980s to fight the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, joined the war in Syria early on to shore up its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, and retain a supply line that runs from Iran to Lebanon.

The ceasefire halted separate, dual assaults against ISIS waged by the Lebanese army on its side of the border and Hezbollah from the Syrian side.

They are being relocated to Al Bukamal on the Iraq-Syria border in eastern Deir ez-Zor province, part of the middle Euphrates River valley, home to the largest concentration of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.

Any strike will be in accordance with "the law of armed conflict", Dillon said.

The coalition said in a statement it was not party to the agreement, further contending that Damascus and its allies' "counter-ISIS words ring hollow when they cut deals with and allow terrorists to transit territory under their control".

The group, which has been classified as a terrorist by the U.S. since it was founded following Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s, has grown in prominence following its victory in 2006 war with Israel.

"According to an agreement between ISIL terrorists, the Lebanese Hizbollah and the Syrian regime, hundreds of ISIL militants left the Lebanese border areas and were taken with their arms and ammunition toward the Iraqi border areas", the Kurdistan Region Security Council said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"Today, I tell the Lebanese and the whole world that we have beat terrorism".

A Lebanese Army soldier looks through binoculars in Ras Baalbek, Lebanon August 28, 2017.

"Daesh [IS] is done, but we may still find caves with bombs in them", he said.

Last month, President Donald Trump stood alongside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and praised Lebanon for being on the "front lines in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah".

In a televised speech Monday night, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared victory and said the country was now free of "terrorists" after buses evacuated 670 people, including the militants and their families.

"During our incursions, we try to open safe passages for them so they would not be a target of our attacks, but there are also many mines that led to the deaths of civilians", she said.



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