U.S.-led airstrikes block IS evacuees from reaching eastern Syria

Updated 2017-08-31 09:00:46 Xinhua

The U.S.-led coalition carried out airstrikes Wednesday to block Islamic State (IS) fighters evacuated from Lebanon from reaching eastern Syria, local media reported.

Hundreds of IS fighters and civilians were evacuated Monday from the border region between Lebanon and Syria under a ceasefire deal and were headed to an IS-held town near Syria's eastern frontier with Iraq.

The airstrikes hit the road leading from the Syrian town of Hmaymah to the IS-held town of Albukamal further east, the report cited the coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon as saying.

The evacuation deal was negotiated between IS and Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, which has intervened in the war in neighboring Syria to prop up the Damascus government.

Hezbollah fought a week-long offensive against IS on the Syrian side of the Lebanese border, coinciding with a simultaneous assault by Lebanese troops on their side of the frontier.

The battles ended Sunday with the announcement of the deal to bus IS forces hundreds of kilometres from Syria's western border with Lebanon to its eastern frontier with Iraq.

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