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IS Evacuation Deal Sparks Iraqi Outrage

IS Evacuation Deal Sparks Iraqi Outrage

Officials from the United States and Kurdistan Region presidencies have separately spoken out against reports of hundreds of ISIS militants being transferred from the Syria-Lebanon border area to the northeastern Syrian-Iraqi border.

The U.S. -led coalition said Wednesday it struck a roadway being used by a Daesh convoy fleeing to territory it controls.

USA officials have criticized the transfer of hundreds of militants and civilians who are bound for an IS-held area near the Iraqi border, saying the extremists should be killed on the battlefield.

"The selfish ally is throwing Daesh from Lebanon into Iraq", he said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.

Any strike will be in accordance with "the law of armed conflict", Dillon said.

The evacuation came as part of a controversial deal brokered by the Lebanese Hezbollah group to clear IS from an area along the Lebanon-Syria border.

The Lebanese militant and political group Hezbollah declared victory over ISIS Monday, saying more than 600 ISIS fighters and civilians in Lebanon were allowed to cross to Syria.

Brett McGurk, the US Special Presidential Envoy to the worldwide coalition to defeat ISIS, who just returned from a two-week jaunt across the Middle East including Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, and Syria, offered the US stance. McGurk added that the anti-ISIS coalition will help ensure that "these terrorists can never" enter Iraq.

"IS was expelled from Lebanese territory. the border was secured and the western Qalamoun (on the Syrian side) was liberated from the jihadists", he said.

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Almost two dozen buses and 11 ambulances carried the militants and their families Monday from the area straddling the Syria-Lebanon border toward the Islamic State-held town of Boukamal in eastern Syria.

The head of Lebanon's internal security agency says eight Lebanese soldiers who had been in captivity of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group since 2014 are nearly certainly dead.

The developments also were an embarrassment for the US -backed Lebanese military, which agreed to the deal and had declared victory over the militants.

"It had no choice but to accept our conditions", he added, emphasizing Hezbollah's role in revealing the fate of the slaughtered Lebanese soldiers and securing their bodies.

He said the battle had cost the Hizballah 11 fighters and the Syrian regime seven soldiers. "We are expecting the number to go up to eight", Ibrahim said, adding, "We believe that these remains belong to the soldiers".

"During our incursions, we try to open safe passages for them so they would not be a target of our attacks, but there are also many mines that led to the deaths of civilians", she said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that there was a delay but did not specify why and Syrian military sources reached by AFP declined to comment.

Last month, President Donald Trump stood alongside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and praised Lebanon for being on the "front lines in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah".

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