Tag Archives: convoy

Biggest convoy yet evacuates Syria's ruined Ghouta

Biggest convoy yet evacuates Syria's ruined GhoutaThe largest convoy yet of Eastern Ghouta evacuees arrived in northwestern Syria Tuesday as the regime threatened to resume its blitz if the last remaining rebels do not leave. Government troops, backed by Russia and loyalist militia, launched a ferocious assault more than a month ago to retake the enclave on the outskirts of Damascus. Russia and the Syrian regime it supports reportedly threatened to resume their blistering bombardment if the last holdout pocket that includes the main Ghouta town of Douma does not agree to a similar deal.



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Coalition pulls drone from skies over stranded IS convoy

Coalition pulls drone from skies over stranded IS convoyThe US-led coalition on Friday pulled aircraft from the skies above a convoy of Islamic State buses stranded in the Syrian desert so regime and Russian forces could go past, officials said. The buses themselves, which are packed with civilians believed to be family members, have not been targeted. As many as 200 jihadists and 200 civilians, thought to be family members, are on board.



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Prowling the Syrian Desert, U.S. Picking Off ISIS Fighters in Stranded Convoy

Prowling the Syrian Desert, U.S. Picking Off ISIS Fighters in Stranded ConvoyPacked with fighters and their families, the buses remain struck in the desert.



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The Latest: US says IS convoy still stranded in Syria

The Latest: US says IS convoy still stranded in SyriaBEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):



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Convoy of hundreds of Isil fighters still stranded in Syrian desert standoff

Convoy of hundreds of Isil fighters still stranded in Syrian desert standoffA convoy of evacuated Islamic State fighters is in a stand-off in the desert Syria, with the US threatening more air strikes if they continue to their destination near the Iraqi border. Lebanon's Hizbollah movement, which agreed the deal with Isil, today accused US-led forces of stranding the buses carrying hundreds of fighters and civilians headed for jihadist-held territory in eastern Syria. It was reported that some of the ambulances carrying wounded fighters, who had been allowed to travel from the Lebanon-Syria border to Deir Ezzor province, were allowed in but the rest remain stuck in government-held territory.  On Wednesday and Thursday, the US-led coalition pounded the road to Deir Ezzor with air strikes to prevent the convoy reaching the Isil-held town of Albukamal on the Iraqi border.  Lebanese army soldiers with the 6th Brigade standing on armoured vehicles on a hill they recently took from the Islamic State (IS) group in Jurud Ras Baalbeck on the Syrian-Lebanese border on August 28, 2017. Credit: AFP Hizbollah, which has defended the deal to remove Isil fighters from the Lebanese frontier, said US-led forces had effectively stranded most of the convoy's 17 buses. "They are also preventing anyone from reaching them even to provide humanitarian assistance to families, the sick and wounded and the elderly," the Hezbollah statement said. The convoy left the Lebanon-Syria border region on Monday, but Hizbollah said six of the buses remained in Syrian government-held territory. The deal, brokered by Hizbollah with the support of its Syrian regime ally after a week-long offensive against IS, has been fiercely criticised by US-led forces and the Iraqi government. The international coalition fighting Isil has said it is unacceptable for jihadists to be transported to the border with Iraq, where pro-government forces this week ousted the extremist group from the northern city of Tal Afar. In a statement overnight, the coalition said it had sent a message to Damascus through Syria's ally Russia to say that "the Coalition will not condone IS fighters moving further east to the Iraqi border." "The Coalition values human life and has offered suggestions on a course of action to save the women and children from any further suffering as a result of the Syrian regime's agreement," it added, without providing further details. The coalition said it would not strike the convoy, but acknowledged hitting Isil fighters and vehicles "seeking to facilitate the movement of Isil fighters to the border area of our Iraqi partners." Hizbollah accused US forces of hypocrisy, saying they had previously allowed Isil fighters to flee territories in Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has described the deal as "unacceptable" and an "insult to the Iraqi people". In Lebanon some criticised it for allowing fighters suspected of killing Lebanese citizens to escape on "air-conditioned buses." Deir Ezzor in Syria's east is one of the jihadists' last remaining strongholds, where they hold most of the province and parts of its capital of the same name.



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Hezbollah slams US over IS convoy stranded in Syria

Hezbollah slams US over IS convoy stranded in SyriaLebanon’s Hezbollah movement on Saturday accused US-led forces of stranding a convoy of Islamic State fighters and civilians headed for Syria’s Deir Ezzor province under an evacuation deal. The convoy carrying hundreds of IS fighters as well as civilians was meant to travel from the Lebanon-Syria border to jihadist-held territory in eastern Syria under a deal Hezbollah helped broker.



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Isil convoy that was blocked by US air strikes attempts different route

Isil convoy that was blocked by US air strikes attempts different routeAn Isil convoy that was blocked by US air strikes on Wednesday attempted a different route to reach territory held by the jihadist group in eastern Syria, despite the coalition warning it would likely strike again. More than 300 lightly armed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters and about 300 family members are being evacuated from Syria's western border with Lebanon under a ceasefire agreement involving the jihadist group, the Syrian army and the Lebanese Shia militia Hizbollah. The truce has been criticised by the coalition and by Iraq, whose army is fighting Isil in areas next to the eastern Syria region to which the convoy was headed. Buses carrying Isil jihadis and their families driving east from Syria's border with Lebanon Credit:  LOUAI BESHARA/AFP US Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, the commander of US-led forces fighting Isil, said they had observed the convoy travelling again towards their destination late on Thursday, before appearing to turn back. He did not offer an explanation as to why. The Syrian army escorted the convoy part of the way Credit:  LOUAI BESHARA/ AFP "When I walked into this conference about an hour ago, the buses were on the move. They had turned and had driven back into regime-held areas," he told reporters via a video teleconference from Baghdad. "We haven't struck the convoy. But we have struck every ISIS fighter and/or vehicle that has tried to approach that convoy. And we'll continue to do that," he said. Iraq victory over Isil in Mosul, in pictures “We will not allow it to link up with Isil in the Euphrates River Valley,” a source in the coalition told the Telegraph earlier on Thursday.   Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah's leader, said in a televised address that the US had warned the Lebanese government that if they let the deal go ahead they faced losing US financial support. FAQ | Islamic State  



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Islamic State convoy in Syria appears to have turned back, U.S.-led coalition says

Islamic State convoy in Syria appears to have turned back, U.S.-led coalition saysBy Angus McDowall BEIRUT (Reuters) – A convoy of Islamic State fighters appears to have turned back after U.S.-led airstrikes thwarted its attempt to reach territory held by the militant group in eastern Syria, the head of U.S.-led forces fighting Islamic State said on Thursday. More than 300 lightly armed IS fighters and about 300 family members were evacuated from Syria’s western border with Lebanon under a ceasefire agreement involving the ultra-hardline group, the Syrian army and the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.



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US air strikes block convoy of Isil fighters being evacuated under Hizbollah deal

US air strikes block convoy of Isil fighters being evacuated under Hizbollah dealThe US-led coalition has carried out air strikes to prevent a convoy of Islamic State fighters, who were being evacuated under a controversial truce deal, from reaching territory under its control in eastern Syria.  Some 300 Isil militants and 300 of their family members were being bussed from the border region between Lebanon and Syria to an Isil-held town near Syria's eastern frontier with Iraq, after agreeing a surrender. The deal was struck between the militants and both the powerful Lebanese Shia militia Hizbollah and the Syrian government, invoking furious reaction from both the US and Iraq. Buses carrying Isil jihadis and their families driving east from Syria's border with Lebanon Credit:  LOUAI BESHARA/AFP "To prevent the convoy from moving further east, we cratered the road and destroyed a small bridge," Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the US-led coalition, said. "IS is a global threat; relocating terrorists from one place to another for someone else to deal with is not a lasting solution." The coalition said in a statement it had not been party to the agreement and that any "counter-Isil words ring hollow" when Hizbollah and the Syrian regime "cut deals with and allow terrorists to transit territory under their control." The jihadists and civilians, including children, left the border region in 14 buses and 11 ambulances on Monday, but on Wednesday their buses were still held up at the outskirts of Hama province, bordering Isil-held Deir Ezzor. The Syrian army escorted the convoy part of the way Credit:  LOUAI BESHARA/ AFP No explanation was offered for the delay.  The buses were escorted by the Syrian army from the Lebanese border only up to a halfway point in Homs, Hama province.  The US decided against a direct strike on the convoy due to the presence of civilians, including the bus drivers and relatives of the jihadists. Each bus was believed to contain at least one non-combatant. Col Dillon had hinted at the coalition's intentions late Tuesday evening, saying the it would “take action where necessary” against “absolutely lucrative targets.” Lebanese officials hailed the agreement as a major victory, one that would rid the country of extremists which have plagued the Arsal and Ras Baalbek border region for more than three years.   In a speech broadcast on Monday night, Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah's leader, claimed credit on the movement's behalf for negotiating the deal.  Iraq victory over Isil in Mosul, in pictures The deal marked the first time Isil has ever publicly agreed to a truce, with the group fighting to the death for its territory in Syria and Iraq. The Lebanese army had been battling the jihadists there for a week before agreeing a ceasefire on Sunday, aimed at retrieving the bodies of nine soldiers kidnapped by Isil in 2014.   But the controversial deal has earned the wrath of the US, which is funding the Lebanese military offensive as well as supporting the fight against Isil in both Syria and Iraq. "Irreconcilable ISIS terrorists should be killed on the battlefield, not bused across Syria to the Iraqi border without Iraq's consent," Brett McGurk, the US presidential envoy to the anti-Isil coalition, wrote on Twitter.  "Our coalition will help ensure that these terrorists can never enter Iraq or escape from what remains of their dwindling 'caliphate'.” Even Lebanese observers decried the evacuation of the fighters, who were transported "on air-conditioned buses" after having been suspected of killing Lebanese troops. Haidar al-Abadi, the Iraqi prime minister, called the deal, which sees hundreds of extremists dumped on its border with Syria, as an “insult to the Iraqi people.” “We fight the terrorists in Iraq,” he said in a speech on Tuesday, referring to its recent hard-fought victory over the group in the northern city of Mosul. “We do not send them to Syria — we kill them in Iraq.” Mr Abadi called on the Syrian government to investigate the decision to relocate the Islamic State fighters. “There should be full cooperation on the elimination of terrorism, not the evacuation of them from one place to the other,” he said. FAQ | Islamic State  



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The Latest: 2 US troops killed in Afghanistan convoy attack

The Latest: 2 US troops killed in Afghanistan convoy attackKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):



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