A Convoy Of ISIS Fighters Has Been Stuck In The Desert For More Than A Week Under Fear Of US Airstrikes

news
A vehicles waiting to transport Islamic State (IS) group members is seen in the Qara area in Syria's Qalamoun region on August 28, 2017 as part of a deal between Hezbollah and IS fighters where the jihadists would leave to eastern Syria.
Photo via AFP/Getty Images

An ISIS convoy of buses and other vehicles has been stuck in the middle of the desert between Syria and Iraq for more than week, fearing U.S. airstrikes if they move.


In a statement released on Sept. 4, U.S. Central Command said the convoy of 11 buses has been sitting in the same spot east of As Sukhnah, after U.S. airstrikes took out a bridge and cratered the road ahead of the convoy last week.

The buses, loaded with about 300 fighters and 300 family members, were headed to Iraq after ISIS brokered a safe-passage deal with Lebanese Hezbollah, The New York Times reported.

The U.S.-led coalition, however, does not recognize that agreement as valid, since it was not a party to the deal. The coalition said in a statement that it will not "allow these experienced fighters to transit territory under Syrian regime control to the Iraqi border."

Buses lined up near the Syria-Lebanon border on Monday to take 308 Islamic State fighters and their families to Islamic State-controlled territory.Photo via AFP/Getty Images

"The Coalition has been clear, that in support of our Iraqi partners, we will not allow the movement of ISIS fighters near the border or onto sovereign Iraqi soil," the statement said.

CENTCOM said it has not directly struck the ISIS convoy and has allowed food and water to be brought to passengers. Meanwhile, of the original convoy of 17, six have been allowed to turn back toward Palmyra without incident.

The statement said the coalition had suggested, through contact with Russia, that the Syrian regime evacuate women and children from the convoy.

"The Syrian regime is letting women and children suffer in the desert," said Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, in a statement. "This situation is completely on them."

More from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

Read More Show Less

An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

Read More Show Less

ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

Read More Show Less

The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

Read More Show Less

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

Read More Show Less