The U.S. -led coalition says it has struck an Islamic State convoy coming from militant-held territory in Syria to meet IS evacuees being transferred there under a controversial deal brokered by Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group. The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and the Syrian army had also announced a ceasefire in their offensive against Daesh on the Syrian side, namely the west mountainous region of Qalamoun.
Col. Ryan Dillon says Wednesday's airstrike hit vehicles identified as belonging to IS that were traveling from IS-held territory toward the convoy.
Backed by Hezbollah, the army on August 19 began a long-anticipated operation in Jurud Ras Baalbek and Jurud al-Qaa areas on Lebanon's eastern border.
"Irreconcilable (IS) terrorists should be killed on the battlefield, not bused across Syria to the Iraqi border without Iraq's consent", according to a tweet from Brett McGurk, the top US envoy for the anti-Islamic State coalition.
"In accordance with the law of armed conflict. we will strike them if we are able to do so", he said, adding that direct strikes on the convoy would only take place if the militants could be separated from civilians.
The coalition nevertheless said in a statement that it is not bound by the evacuation agreement.
The group, which has been classified as a terrorist by the U.S. since it was founded following Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s, has grown in prominence following its victory in 2006 war with Israel.
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IS' departure leaves the border between Syria and Lebanon free of extremists for the first time in years.
Save the Children on August 28 also said a bombing campaign has increased the "nightmares" for young people in the self-declared IS capital, which is under siege by US -backed Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters.
The Iraqi government condemned the move as "unacceptable" and threatening to Iraq because the ISIS fighters will now be in the Euphrates valley and can easily move to ISIS controlled areas near al-Qaim in Iraq's Anbar province.
"We have long expressed our concerns about Hezbollah's military operations in Lebanon, which violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701 by defying the global community's call to disarm", they added.
"They know that Iraqis destroyed their second biggest city [Mosul] so that Daesh fighters would not escape and Iraq's neighbours would not be harmed".
"I had two choices: either I continue the battle and not know the soldiers' fate, or I submit to the situation and find out".
"The ones who are crying today about the surrender of ISIS in Syria and Iraq are Netanyahu and the senior Israeli officials", Nasrallah said, according to a report on Channel 10 News. "We are not party to any agreements that were made by the Lebanese Hezbollah and ISIS or the (Syrian) regime". "Their souls are my responsibility", Gen Aoun told reporters.