The United States condemned an “agreement between Lebanese Hezbollah and ISIS” allowing hundreds of ISIS fighters and their families to be bused through Syrian territory controlled by President Assad to an area on the Iraq border. Later, US-led coalition aircraft bombed a road and vehicles in Syria on Wednesday in an effort to prevent those fighters from reaching Iraq.
Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, said in a statement that “the coalition cratered the road heading east between Hamaymah and Abul Kamal to prevent the further transport of ISIS fighters to the border area of our Iraqi partners, and struck individual vehicles and fighters that were clearly identified as ISIS.
“Russian and pro-regime counter-ISIS words ring hollow when they allow known terrorists to transit territory under their control,” the press desk of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve wrote in response to an inquiry from The Jerusalem Post. “ISIS is a global threat; relocating terrorists from one place to another for someone else to deal with, is not a lasting solution.”
The US-led coalition of around 70 countries has been fighting ISIS for three years and is on the verge of defeating the group in Iraq and also in its capital of Raqqa in Syria.
The US did not, however, hit the convoy which was carrying family members as well as ISIS fighter, something the terrorists knew would play into the decision. They did target fighters who were clearly identified.
The U.S. has refrained from any attacks west of the Euphrates River due to its “de-confliction” with the Syrian regime and Russia so that the respective air forces of the U.S. and Russia that operate in Syria do not come into contact. But by showing that the unacceptable move to bring ISIS troops into Iraq thru Syrian territory won’t be tolerated.
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