Led strike in Syria blocks IS fighters evacuated from Lebanon

The US-led coalition bombed the route of a convoy of Isis fighters travelling across Syria yesterday after a controversial deal that allowed them to escape a siege.

More than 48 hours after they left the Syria-Lebanon border for eastern Syria, the buses carrying 300 militants and nearly as many of their relatives were stuck in a desert area on the outskirts of the largely IS-held Deir el-Zour province near the frontier with Iraq.

"Irreconcilable ISIS terrorists should be killed on the battlefield and not bused across Syria to the Iraqi border without Iraq's consent.

The fighting continued on both fronts, the land was crushed, the hills and highlands were seized and ISIS found itself on its last square and it collapsed and surrendered after a decisive battle", Nasrallah said.

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

US officials have criticized the transfer of hundreds of militants and civilians who are bound for an IS-held area near the Iraqi border, saying the extremists should be killed on the battlefield.

"ISIS is a global threat; relocating terrorists from one place to another for someone else to deal with is not a lasting solution", Pahon added, saying "the coalition is monitoring the movement of these fighters in real-time".

But Lebanon's move to halt the fight after IS was squeezed into a small sliver on the border and then let the militants flee has further alarmed Washington.

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Earlier, a Lebanese army source told AFP that no convoys would leave the area until DNA tests had been carried out on bodies found in the region at the weekend, believed to be the remains of eight Lebanese soldiers IS kidnapped in 2014.

The transfer angered some in Iraq, who accused Lebanon, Hezbollah and the Syrian government of threatening Iraq's security by moving ISIS close to their border.

"Iraq should not pay the price for agreements that affect its security and sovereignty", Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri said Wednesday, adding that the deal was "a return to square one".

Lebanese President Michel Aoun declared victory against IS on Wednesday and praised the Lebanese army for carrying out the operation.

"It had no choice but to accept our conditions", he added, emphasizing Hezbollah's role in revealing the fate of the slaughtered Lebanese soldiers and securing their bodies.

In Syria, meanwhile, President Bashar Assad received Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari.

"We've seen ISIS use protective sites like hospitals and mosques, seen them drive in ambulances", Colonel Ryan said. "Their souls are my responsibility", Gen Aoun told reporters.

Having pushed into the city in June after months of encircling it, the SDF alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias is fighting in the heart of Raqqa, assisted by air strikes and special forces from the US-led coalition.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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