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ISIS Convoy Splits Up in Eastern Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ISIS militants smiled as they left the Lebanon-Syria border zone, where they had been surrounded by Lebanese, Syrian and Hezbollah forces. Photo: Reuters 

Beirut, London- The convoy of ISIS militants, which left the Qalamoun Mountains – located on the border with eastern Lebanon– still moves under the brokered agreement with the Syrian regime and Hezbollah to escape into the Syrian desert.

The US-led coalition said on Sunday that the convoy had been divided into two groups. A group of buses remained in the desert while another group returned to regime-controlled areas.

One group remains in the open desert to the northwest of the town of Abu Kamal, bordering Iraq, and another group has headed west toward the historic town of Palmyra. It added that the coalition “will not condone” ISIS fighters moving further east toward the Iraqi border, the statement said.

The statement said that over the past week, the coalition has struck approximately 85 ISIS militants and about 40 ISIS vehicles in the vicinity of the convoy. They include a tank, an artillery system, armed technical vehicles, and transport vehicles seeking to facilitate the movement of ISIS fighters to the Iraq border.

Iran-allied Hezbollah group said in a statement Saturday that coalition warplanes are still preventing the convoy from moving east and barring anyone on the regime side from reaching them. It added that if aid does not reach the convoy “only the Americans will bear the responsibility” for what happens.

If the people in the convoy die because of bombing or lack of food, “full responsibility lies with the Americans,” Hezbollah said.

The US military, however, has said it will not interfere if the Syrian regime sends supplies to the convoy, and that the convoy has already received one delivery of food and water.

US warplanes watched “someone” from the Syrian regime’s side resupply the convoy with water and food two days ago and did not intervene, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of the US-led coalition told reporters.