By Naveed Malekafzali (Twitter)
Qalamun Mountains - Coalition airstrikes from US bombers have bombed a road and destroyed a bridge at an undisclosed location along the route that a Lebanese/Syrian government convoy carrying evacuated ISIS fighters is taking to Abu Kamal, a small town in Dayr az-Zawr Province on the border of Syria and Iraq. The US had originally threatened to bomb the convoy itself before cratering the road the buses were taking, a threat that still remains.
ISIS and HTS had been embroiled in a Hezbollah/Lebanese Army offensive alongside the Lebanese border mountain range for the past two months. HTS, in the latest of many deals with the Syrian government to avoid fighting to the last man, had their fighters transferred to Idlib in early August. ISIS, in a move that surprised analysts, also accepted a deal brokered by both the Lebanese and Syrian governments to be transferred out of their border pocket to ISIS territory in eastern Syria. This is the first time ISIS has ever accepted a deal from any government they have been battling, having infamously rejected even negotiating with other Salafist Islamist groups in Syria or Libya.
Despite the US also currently bombing HTS, albeit in a far smaller and infrequent capacity, no such threat to bomb convoys carrying their fighters in the past has ever been made by the US government or any other Coalition country.
There are currently estimated to be 600 ISIS fighters, alongside their families, on the convoy in transit. Because of the presence of women and children on the buses, there have been concerns raised that bombing the convoy with airstrikes could constitute a war crime.