Led Coalition Says it May Hit ISIS Evacuees in Syria

Led Coalition Says it May Hit ISIS Evacuees in Syria

Led Coalition Says it May Hit ISIS Evacuees in Syria

Updated | The U.S. -led coalition fighting against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has launched airstrikes targeting jihadis who struck a deal to flee to eastern Syria from an embattled pocket in Lebanon.

But officials of the US -led coalition said they will continue to monitor the convoy and aren't ruling out more airstrikes.

After announcing the air strikes aimed at blocking the convoy on Wednesday, Col Dillon stressed that the coalition was "not bound by these agreements".

"The agreement to let the Islamic State militants escape likely saved hundreds of civilians held by the fanatical fighters, even though it allowed some Islamic State militants to escape", USA Today cited a senior U.S. defense official last August.

The US-led coalition fighting ISIS has carried out airstrikes to "crater" and disable roads that ISIS fighters meant to use to evacuate the border area between Syria and Lebanon as part of an agreement with the Lebanese government and Hezbollah.

The top USA envoy for the global coalition against ISIS, Brett McGurk, tweeted Wednesday that ISIS "terrorists should be killed on the battlefield, not bused across #Syria to the Iraqi border without #Iraq's consent".

"IS was expelled from Lebanese territory. the border was secured and the western Qalamoun (on the Syrian side) was liberated from the jihadists", he said.

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The militants and their families left the border area on Sunday under a ceasefire deal.

According to news reports, about 670 ISIS terrorists and their families, surrounded by Lebanese and pro-regime Syrian forces, attempted to ensure safe passage across Syria by offering to trade the bodies of nine Lebanese soldiers captured in 2014.

"Raqqa's children might look normal on the outside, but inside many are tormented by what they've seen", the charity's Syrian director, Sonia Khush, said.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah hailed the deal as a victory for Lebanon for finally expelling ISIS from its territory.

The remains of several people have been uncovered in the border area where IS had presence and DNA tests are underway to identify whether they belong to the missing soldiers. "We are monitoring them in real time". It is cooperating with the USA -led coalition that has been conducting an airstrike campaign against the group since mid-2014.

"I had one of two choices. Either to go on with the battle and not know the fate of the soldiers or succumb and know the fate of the soldiers", Aoun said. "Their souls are my responsibility", he said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, reported on Wednesday that 64 combatants had been killed in the past 24 hours, and 150 in the past six days. State media gave no further details.

Iran has been one of Assad's main backers since Syria's crisis began in March 2011.

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