On Aug. 29, U.S. military planes blocked a convoy carrying Islamic State fighters that was heading toward ISIS controlled territories on the border of Syria and Iraq. The convoy contained hundreds of fighters and their relatives.
The Washington Post reported that the fighters were allowed passage through Syria by the Hezbollah and Syrian Army. The deal sparked controversy among Hezbollah’s closest allies, including Iraq.
The United States responded by bombing the road to deter the fighters from crossing into Iraq. The airstrikes, which struck down a bridge near the Syrian border with Iraq, did not target the convoy itself.
The U.S. Joint Task Force voiced their concerns stating that, “the coalition will not condone ISIS fighters moving further east to the Iraqi border,” which led to a defensive response from Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah said the deal was a “great victory” in his speech stating that, “The number of those transferred was not big: 310 tired, broken, militants who had surrendered and lost the willpower to fight will not change the course of the battle in Deir al-Zour, where there are tens of thousands of fighters.”
— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) August 30, 2017