Sunday, 18 February, 2018

U.S. prevents evacuation of IS fighters

U.S. prevents evacuation of IS fighters U.S. prevents evacuation of IS fighters
Christy Curtis | 03 September, 2017, 07:22

More than 300 militants and their families are in the convoy after vacating the border area as part of a Hezbollah-negotiated deal to transport them to an IS-held town in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border.

The deal comes after the Lebanese Army launched an offensive - dubbed the Fajr al-Joroud - against the Daesh militants who have been entrenched on the Lebanese-Syrian border since 2014.

The Hezbollah leader further said the U.S. had threatened to cut its assistance to the Lebanese army in case it did not put an end to its campaign against terrorists on the border with Syria.

He said the group is exploring secret ways in which the convoy can cross into IS-held areas without being targeted by the USA -led coalition.

The coalition said it would not strike the convoy, but acknowledged hitting Daesh fighters and vehicles "seeking to facilitate the movement of Daesh fighters to the border area of our Iraqi partners".

In a statement on Saturday, Hezbollah said the coalition's warplanes were still preventing the convoy of extremists from advancing further east.

But the coalition against ISIL has used air strikes to block the convoy from crossing into the group's main territory straddling Syria's eastern border with Iraq.

Also Thursday, Syrian troops and allied forces captured a strategic mountain overlooking the Deir el-Zour province, which was mostly under ISIS control, according to Iranian state television.

In addition to sending thousands of fighters to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hezbollah has provided training and advice to some of the Iranian-backed Shia militias fighting the IS in Iraq.

In a recorded speech, Nasrallah told his listeners how he drove to Damascus in order to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and discuss the expulsion of ISIS from the region.

"The last major center of resistance of terrorists in the central part of Syria has been eliminated", the ministry said in a statement cited by state news agency TASS. Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah are fighting alongside Assad's forces.

A military source told SANA that the army units continued their successful military operations in the eastern countryside of Homs, establishing control over an area in a front that is 12 km long and 4 km deep north of Mannnoukh village on the outskirts of Jebb al-Jarrah area, inflicting heavy losses upon ISIS terrorists in personnel and equipment.

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