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

The US-led coalition said it may bomb a convoy of Islamic State militants who agreed to leave the Syria-Lebanon border and move towards Iraq under a deal brokered by Hezbollah, adding that it will not allow the terrorists to escape.

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.

"Irreconcilable (IS) terrorists should be killed on the battlefield, not bused across Syria to the Iraqi border without Iraq's consent", according to a tweet from Brett McGurk, the top USA envoy for the anti-Islamic State coalition.

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

The airstrikes hit the road leading from the Syrian town of Hmaymah to the IS-held town of Albukamal further east, the report cited the coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon as saying.

His comments came hours after another US official blasted the deal that led to the evacuation of hundreds of Islamic State fighters and civilians, saying the extremists should be killed on the battlefield.

The main security body of the Iraqi Kurdistan region also condemned the deal, questioning the motivation of the Syrian regime and its key Lebanese ally for dealing with the jihadi group responsible for capturing swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory since 2014 and the murder of thousands. It was not immediately clear if any belonged to the captured soldiers, however.

"Our only consolation is that we knew the fate of the soldiers", he said.

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The coalition is reluctant to strike the actual convoy of evacuees because the fighters have wives and children traveling with them, said a USA official, who wasn't authorized to discuss military details and requested anonymity.

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

The U.S-.backed Lebanese army denies coordinating its operation with the Syrian army.

The convoy of buses and ambulances left the border region on Monday after a ceasefire took effect on Sunday.

Earlier, Lebanon's President Michel Aoun hailed a "victory over terrorism". "Either to go on with the battle and not know the fate of the soldiers, or give in and know the fate of the soldiers", he said. "We came and took responsibility by going to negotiations", he said.

Iraq, meanwhile, accused Syria and Hizbollah of trying to dump the extremists on the Iraqi border rather than eradicating them.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday that the deal was "unacceptable" and an "insult to the Iraqi people".

After a weeklong offensive by the Lebanese army, the Syrian government and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, more than 300 ISIS fighters and about as many of their relatives withdrew from their enclave on the Syria-Lebanon border.

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