US Attacks Syrian Highway to Block ISIS Evacuation Convoy

Buses Loaded With Fighters, Civilians Stopped From Reaching Deir Ezzor

According to US Central Command (Centcom), US warplanes attacked a major east-west highway in Syria today, to prevent a Red Crescent-led evacuation program which was taking ISIS fighters and civilians out of the Syria-Lebanon border area to Deir Ezzor under a ceasefire deal.

After ISIS lost most of its territory in the border region, they negotiated an evacuation deal with the militaries involved. The US insists that it was not a party to the deal, and felt justified attacking the highway to stop the convoy as a result.

The buses are said to contain 308 militantts and 331 civilians. The US insists that the convoy wasn’t directly attacked because of the number of women and children inside, but that they do insist on all of the militants being killed instead of delivered to Deir Ezzor.

On the other hand, the convoy is now effectively stuck smack in the middle of Syria, with no easy way to move on to their intended destination. Centcom spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon insisted the convoy is still being monitored, and that the US would not rule out attacking the buses in the future if they believe it’s appropriate to do so.

Col. Dillon went on to slam Russia, who appears wholly uninvolved with this whole evacuation process. He said the fact that Russia didn’t actively prevent the convoy from leaving proved they aren’t serious about fighting ISIS.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.