A series of US-led coalition air strikes have blocked the convoy of ISIL evacuee fighters from reaching the eastern side of Syria. The militants brokered a deal with the Hezbollah and Syrian Army to relocate them from their enclave at the Lebanon-Syria border towards their stronghold at the Syria-Iraq border.
The fighter jets from the coalition have blocked the convoy as well as attacked another group of ISIL fighters that had been sent to receive them. The evacuation deal brokered at the end of last week was received with ire both by Iraq and the US as it was viewed as negotiating with terrorist as well as strengthening the militants in the East at the border of Syria and Iraq.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said moving hundreds of fighters towards the Iraqi border was “unacceptable” and “an insult to the Iraqi people”, while US officials said ISIL fighters should be killed on the battlefield. Th Islamic State is a global threat and evacuating terrorists from one location to another for another government to deal with is not the way to deal with them as it only gives them a chance to regroup and be stronger.
Moreover, the evacuation deal was ill-thought as it put the fighters on the same buses as the civilians and as such providing cover and protection for the militants. The US-led coalition has however maintained that it will not conduct further air strikes until the fighters and the civilians have been separated.