US Military Threatens to Bomb Convoy Transferring ISIS Fighters

The frame grab from video released on Aug 28 2017 shows buses gathering before a planned evacuation of Daesh militants in the mountainous region of Qalamoun in Syria

The coalition later said it attacked ISIS vehicles joining the convoy to initiate a transfer of outlined in the agreement with Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah, according to the Associated Press.

The buses were escorted by the Syrian army across government-controlled territory on Tuesday, heading to eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border.

The ISIS militants were allowed to evacuate the area in buses following a Hezbollah-negotiated deal that allows them to go to ISIS-held territory near the Iraqi border.

In a statement announcing the air strikes aimed at blocking the convoy, the coalition stressed that it "was not a party to any agreement" with the jihadists.

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. "In accordance with the law of armed conflict. we will strike them if we are able to do so".

The airstrikes came amid USA criticism of the deal, reflecting a growing outrage within the Trump administration over the decision to give the militants safe passage from the battlefield instead of killing them, and Iran-backed Hezbollah's leading role in it.

Hezbollah - a Shia Muslim political and military organization in Lebanon which the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization - had brokered an agreement with IS militants, giving them a safe passage from an enclave on the Syrian border with Lebanon to IS-held territory near the Iraqi border.

Battle to regain Raqqa must not be about defeating ISIL at all costs – Zeid

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

"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".

The Lebanese Army, with help from Hezbollah and the Syrian Army, helped move 675 Islamic State fighters and their relatives in buses and ambulances.

About 308 ISIL fighters left the border area on Monday under a ceasefire deal, the terms of which included ISIL identifying where the group had buried the soldiers' bodies. "We don't expel them to Syria; we kill them in Iraq", Abadi said.

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

"I had one of two choices". 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.

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

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