Coalition Strikes Block Highway Used by Fleeing Terrorists
01:06, Aug 31, 2017
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Buses carrying hundreds of Daesh militants and their families arrived in eastern Syria on Tuesday following a negotiated evacuation from the Lebanon-Syria border, where the US -backed Lebanese army deployed for the first time in years.
Colonel Ryan said the agreement undermined efforts to fight the Islamic State in Syria.
Separately, the leader of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, defended the Lebanese group's involvement in the evacuation deal in a statement responding to criticism of the move from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. "Russian and pro-regime counter-ISIS words ring hollow when they allow known terrorists to transit territory under their control", Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told CNN.
During the one-month long fight against Takfiri terrorists, the Lebanese people in particular those in the borders showed their steadfastness in fighting terrorists.
The Lebanese army commander added that he cares most about the life of his soldiers and that one of the main achievements was to win the battle without going on with it till the end. Shortly afterward, the remains of eight soldiers were located and exhumed in an area near the border with Syria. It was not immediately clear if any belonged to the captured soldiers, however.
Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and other Western nations, as well as the Arab League.
His comments came hours after another US official blasted the deal that led to the evacuation of hundreds of Islamic State fighters and civilians, saying the extremists should be killed on the battlefield. Lebanon's army has said it lost six soldiers.
The Lebanese military on Monday took journalists on a tour of areas along the border near Ras Baalbek that were recaptured from the Islamic State in the past week.
She estimated Islamic State had between 700 and 1,000 fighters left in Raqqa, mainly at the center of the city.
Hundreds of jihadists started leaving the area on Monday, heading by bus for Syria's eastern province of Deir Ezzor, which borders Iraq and is the only Syrian province still under I.S. control. The deal also provoked controversy in Lebanon, as some have voiced opposition to negotiations with the militants. "Hezbollah's answer was categorical, that is, any solution, whether it be partial or whole, must first include the fate of the soldiers".
In Syria, under separate attacks from a USA -led coalition and from the Russian-backed Syrian army, it is falling back on its strongholds along the Euphrates valley east of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the caliphate it declared in 2014.
The deal is part of a cease-fire agreement along the Lebanon-Syria border between Lebanon's army and Hezbollah, and Syria's army.
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