Led forces launch air strikes to stop IS reaching east Syria: coalition

Raqqa has become subject to regular air strikes during fighting between members of the Syrian Democratic Forces striving to capture the city and Islamic State militants

Led forces launch air strikes to stop IS reaching east Syria: coalition

Lebanese officials say they are nearly sure they are.

The evacuation deal followed separate but simultaneous weeklong offensives by the Lebanese army on one side of the border and by the Syrian government and Hezbollah on the other.

For the first time in years, Lebanon now controls all of its border with Syria. One of the worst spillovers of the foreign backed war into Lebanon was in 2014, when ISIS and Nusra Front briefly overran the border town of Arsal. It was not immediately clear if any belonged to the captured soldiers, however.

After a meeting with President Michel Aoun, the army commander congratulated the military on "its victory against terrorism" and offered his condolences to the families of fallen soldiers.

The US views Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and US President Donald Trump has condemned Hezbollah as a menace.

He praised the Lebanese army for carrying out the operation that ended with the ISIL deal. Their convoy left Monday and.

Lebanon's security chief Abbas Ibrahim defended the ceasefire agreement on Monday saying security forces were not seeking revenge or bloodshed, but had set out to "liberate" Lebanese soil from IS militants and reveal the fate of the kidnapped soldiers. "Either to go on with the battle and not know the fate of the soldiers, or give in and know the fate of the soldiers", he said. "Their souls are my responsibility", he said.

He later said the coalition had struck vehicles containing Islamic State fighters that were heading to that area from deeper inside the territory they control to the east.

"Irreconcilable ISIS terrorists should be killed on the battlefield, not bused across Syria to the Iraqi border without Iraq's consent", tweeted US Special Envoy for Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Brett McGurk, who also spoke for the coalition's efforts under the Obama administration.

A senior Lebanese military official said a number of militants were also leaving from the Lebanese side of the border, to be transferred with the Syrian convoy.

He added that the coalition was closely monitoring the convoy and where it was headed.

The statement also validates America's role and campaign against ISIL.

The parliamentary bloc of Prime Minister Saad Hariri slammed Hezbollah, saying it orchestrated the agreement to ensure the escape of IS militants in return for the remains of Hezbollah fighters and a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards killed in Syria.

And by mentioning Russian Federation by name, the Trump administration is telling Moscow and Damascus "to stop the charade that Mr Assad cares about beating ISIL in eastern Syria", said Mr Heras.

Children escaping from the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, which has been held by Islamic State (IS) militants since 2014, have been "tormented" by years of living under the extremists' rule, a US -based charity says.

Hezbollah believes that the war in Syria is an Israeli and American conspiracy to unseat what it terms as an "Axis of Resistance" against Zionist Israel.

ISIL fighters were sheltering among civilians and to complete the offensive would have involved great bloodshed, the commander said.

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