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Led strike in Syria blocks IS fighters evacuated from Lebanon

Led strike in Syria blocks IS fighters evacuated from Lebanon”

The coalition said it had not hit the convoy, but "cratered" a road in east Syria and bombed IS vehicles nearby.

But anger over the transfer deal prompted the US-led coalition to launch airstrikes on Wednesday to block the convoy.

"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.

"Russian and pro-regime counter-ISIS words ring hollow when they allow known terrorists to transit territory under their control", wrote the press desk of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, in an email.

"The coalition, we are not party to this agreement between Lebanon, Hezbollah and ISIS", he said.

Iraqi forces, who retook Mosul from ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, in July after a nine-month battle, are fighting the last pocket of fighters in the northern province of Nineveh.

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

Some 600 militants were allowed to leave as part of a deal, negotiated by Lebanon's Hezbollah, in exchange for identifying the location of the remains of Lebanese soldiers captured by IS in 2014, and later killed.

ISIS agreed to a ceasefire on two fronts on the Lebanon-Syria border region with the Lebanese army on one front and Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other, ending a week-long confrontation.

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McGurk added that the anti-Daesh coalition will help ensure that "these terrorists can never" enter Iraq.

Lebanese troops launched an attack against ISIS on August 18, while Syrian troops and Hezbollah fighters launched a simultaneous offensive from the Syrian side of the border.

The developments also were an embarrassment for the USA -backed Lebanese military, which agreed to the deal and had declared victory over the militants.

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

"We've seen ISIS use protective sites like hospitals and mosques, seen them drive in ambulances", Colonel Ryan said.

Daesh terrorists are dressing up as Kurdish forces backed by the US-led coalition in order to capture civilians trying to flee Raqqa, The Telegraph reported Wednesday, citing local residents.

His army chief, Gen Joseph Aoun, meanwhile defended the evacuation deal, saying he had wanted to find the missing soldiers and not risk any more lives. "Their souls are my responsibility", he told reporters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that there was a delay but did not specify why and Syrian military sources reached by AFP declined to comment.

In the Syrian capital Damascus, President Bashar Assad received Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari who is on a visit to Syria.



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