Coalition Says It Allowed Aid Deliveries to Isis Militants Stuck in Syria’s Desert
U.S.-led Coalition forces said they have allowed food and water deliveries to reach Islamic State (ISIS) militants and their families stuck in Syria’s eastern desert.
A statement by the Coalition forces on Monday night (September 4) said the Coalition has not struck the convoy of ISIS militants, consisting of 17 buses and other support vehicles.
The Coalition added the convoy stalled in the Syria Desert east of as-Sukhnah was halted in its move toward Iraq on August 29 by airstrikes from Coalition warplanes to prevent its movement to the east.
“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 read.
The Coalition leaders have communicated a course of action to the Russians providing the Syrian regime an opportunity to remove the women and children from the situation, the statement added.
"The Syrian regime is letting women and children suffer in the desert. This situation is completely on them," the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, said in the statement.
According to the Coalition forces, six of the 17 buses were returned westward toward Palmyra under the control of the Syrian regime.
The Coalition will continue to monitor the remaining 11 buses, the statement said.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah accused U.S.-led Coalition jets of stopping any aid from reaching ISIS militants and their families stuck in the desert.
A convoy of 17 buses carrying nearly 300 lightly armed ISIS militants and 300 civilians has been stuck in Syria’s eastern desert since August 29, with the Coalition using airstrikes to stop it from entering ISIS territory.
ISIS has agreed to a ceasefire deal which took effect on Sunday (August 25) with the Lebanese army on one front and Hezbollah with the Syrian army on the other.