"Like Moths To The Flame": ISIS Fighters Cut Down While Approaching Stranded Convoy

Tyler Durden's picture

A convoy of buses containing hundreds of lightly armed ISIS terrorists and their family members remains stuck in the Syrian desert and pinned down as US and coalition planes continue to pick off militants who stray too far from the group. External ISIS vehicles have also tried to access and aid the group, but as US coalition spokesman Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon statedcoalition aircraft are picking them off as they come close "like moths to the flame."

Dillon estimated that over 40 ISIS vehicles were destroyed, including nearly 100 terrorists killed, while heading toward the convoy as the coalition has been "able to continue to just observe and pick them off one at a time.” But on Friday afternoon the US alliance announced the sudden withdrawal of its surveillance aircraft over the site at Russia's request, publishing the following statement:

At approximately 7am GMT Sept. 8, Syrian pro-regime forces advanced past the 11-bus convoy of ISIS terrorists and non-combatants in the eastern Syrian desert. To ensure safe de-confliction of efforts to defeat ISIS, coalition surveillance aircraft departed the adjacent airspace at the request of Russian officials during their assault on Dawyr Az Zawyr.

The Syrian Army and Hezbollah in the Qara area in Syria's Qalamoun mountains when the ISIS bus convoy deal was initiated on August 28, 2017. Photo source: AFP/Louai Beshara

ISIS convoy in Syria. Photo source: Louai Beshara/Agence France-Presse

The convoy has been stranded in no-man's land on the Syrian battlefield since at least last Wednesday (9/30) after its progress was halted by US coalition airstrikes along the evacuation route, including a key bridge. The Lebanese government and Hezbollah arranged a deal with Syria to allow the convoy to pass as ISIS fighters and their families were transferred from northeast Lebanon after loosing a decisive battle there. In exchange, ISIS handed over the bodies of previously kidnapped Lebanese soldiers as well as a the body of an Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer to Hezbollah.

The deal, which President Assad acknowledged as "an embarrassment" has been mired in controversy as it would result in experienced ISIS fighters being dropped in eastern Syria along the Iraq border. Both Iraq and the US have vociferously protested the arrangement, essentially labeling the deal an intentional terror transfer that will hinder Iraq's ongoing anti-ISIS fight. 

But US officials have failed to acknowledged that the deal was first and foremost brokered by the Lebanese government, specifically Prime Minister Saad Hariri and President Michel Aoun. A reluctant Assad agreed to let the convoy pass after the personal intervention of Nasrallah, who argued the deal would result in fewer Lebanese lives lost as the army sought to root out the final few hundred ISIS fighters in the border region of Arsal after their recent overall defeat (in what was set to be a "fight to the death" scenario). The United States has given over $1 billion in military aid to Lebanon over the past years, and itself contributed US special forces support for the successful Arsal anti-ISIS campaign. While the US coalition has highlighted Hezbollah's role in the deal, it has conveniently side-stepped the lead role of its own allies in the Lebanese government.  

For the past week and a half a catch-22 standoff has developed: Syria made a difficult and embarrassing deal - in Hezbollah leader's Hassan Nasrallah's words "for the sake of Lebanon" - yet it's a deal which is going unfulfilled as the US coalition intervened to stop the evacuation. At the same time Hezbollah fighters are escorting the convoy as part of upholding its end of the bargain. Friday's Operation Inherent Resolve statement confirms that though Russia waived off American surveillance in the area, the coalition's stance has not changed, nor does it appear that the remaining ISIS buses have moved:

“From the start of this situation on Aug. 29, we have placed responsibility for the buses and passengers on the Syrian regime, who in conjunction with Lebanese Hezbollah brokered a deal with ISIS to move its terrorists into Iraq,” said Brig. Gen. Jon Braga, director of operations for the Coalition. “The regime’s advance past the convoy underlines continued Syrian responsibility for the buses and terrorists. As always, we will do our utmost to ensure that the ISIS terrorists do not move toward the border of our Iraqi partners,” said Braga.

The ISIS fighters and their families have continued to be provided food and water through Syrian government lines. The group exited Lebanon with 17 chartered buses along with an unknown number of individual vehicles - all attempting to make it to ISIS held Abu Kamal in Deir Ezzor Province close to the Iraq border, but that number was reduced to 11 this week as 6 buses returned to an unknown fate in Syrian government territory. In a speech announcing specifics at the beginning of the evacuation, Nasrallah put the original numbers at 308 ISIS fighters and 331 civilian family members in the convoy.  Wounded ISIS members travelling in ambulances reportedly made it to Islamic State territory ahead of the convoy last week. 

The US coalition has stated its desire to separate the militants from their families in order to destroy the ISIS terrorists. Apparently there are even pregnant women in the group - this according to Hezbollah's Al Manar news network. The US issued a statement Tuesday, saying, “Coalition leaders have communicated a course of action to the Russians, providing the Syrian regime an opportunity to remove the women and children from this situation.”

Though the whole arrangement is one of the more bizarre deals to come out of the Syrian war, it's been widely seen as a blow to ISIS propaganda and recruiting efforts. Last week Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk reported, "some ISIS leaders in Syria did not want members of the group who had surrendered territory to be welcomed back into the so-called caliphate, and the militants should have fought to the death instead." Other observers of Islamic State social media accounts have noted that ISIS members initially reacted in disbelief, claiming the entire brokered deal and ISIS retreat to be a fiction of Hezbollah media.

With the Syrian Army's assault on Deir Ezzor city successfully underway, it is likely that Assad's calculation was to allow the pressure to be let off Lebanon (and perhaps repaying a favor to Hezbollah, which has sacrificed much to defend Syria) with the thinking that the ISIS stronghold of Deir Ezzor Province would be the next to be pummeled anyway. In meantime, this stranded ISIS convoy episode continues to be among the more bizarre waiting games of the entire war.

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RICKYBIRD's picture

I don't believe for one second that these are their "families". Those are hostages being masqueraded as "family".

Fed-up with being Sick and Tired's picture

Can anyone REALLY understand what the fuck is going on over there?   I read in one place that WE, America, CREATED ISIS/ISIL to defeat Assad because he resists a NatGas pipleline ...supposedly running from Qatar to the EU through Syria?


Then, we are told that Qatar is the enemy number one, according to recent reports, but I thought the House of Saud had put up some of the funding for that very pipleline.  What in the fuck are we doing over there?


It leads me to believe that WE THINK that it is better to keep stirring up the pot to resist bringing home terror here?  IS this is the reason?  I an completely confused and methinks that is purposeful.


In the meantime, we are at 20 Trillion in QE bucks and Euro's.  WTF?????

New_Meat's picture

You should ask John McCain, since these are the Moderate Terrorists that we have been looking for.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

The lodestar/reference point is Israel. America does what Israel wants (unless it's way too costly such as a war with Iran). Understand what the Israelis are looking for and then things will start to make sense.

Internet-is-Beast's picture

I wonder how many children's heads have been cut off by the men in that convoy. One would be enough to merit all of them dying from the sarin gas they have used on innocent people

U4 eee aaa's picture

Probably less than your average American drone soldier

Ray Zinhell's picture

Why the fuck aren't these buses smoldering ruins?

dark pools of soros's picture

Remember when the US made a deal to let a convoy from Mosul go to Syria?

terrorist ping pong

michigan independant's picture

History is not something that befalls you but something you do choose every detail as what Heidegger called a standing reserve, of people, places and events, all equally liable to be identified with. The point is they are a death cult and able to choose a yoke of historical submission for propaganda or free to end it themselves. This has been seen since 325 AD and before also with cults of death in a logical fallacy of social order of oppositional hypocrites claiming victory of effect as warned as walking in circles and how to deal with it which is ignored but understood as the viper in ones own wall. Few understand the warning.

FixItAgainTony's picture

It's just a paycheck from a ZATO paymaster for a shit job. Don't take it so personally. Even the beheadings were barely good enough for govt work, madrasa raised teenagers with lackluster appreciation of the execution's trade.

Rita Katz, you're fired.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

This is what the U.S. military does when it's assets defect and when they don't they get flown to other destinations (https://southfront.org/us-helicopters-evacuate-over-20-isis-commanders-f...)

Of course!

Arrest Hillary's picture

Potable water must be getting low .... let 'em drink anti-freeze .... some reptiles have green and blue blood (Cu)?

U4 eee aaa's picture

They are being supplied with food and water

JackMeOff's picture

Thank God Hillary isn't in office, they would be coming to a midwest town near you.

Internet-is-Beast's picture

The Neocons must be very angry to see their henchmen in harm's way and they are probably putting all kinds of pressure on Trump to rescue them. That's how perfideous and evil they are.

williambanzai7's picture

Are we not entertained?

michigan independant's picture

No my Brother William a few are not and ideas have conclusions we have seen before. Free will has consequences and as we know to date if voting mattered or was allowed since the gatekeepers indeed appear to own that dire avenue as to decide. We do understand rare opportunities when we have time to see them clearly as you have the gift to witness. I hope all is well with you and your extended family.  

Blanco Diablo's picture

‘ISIS Commander’ Exposed as Israeli Mossad Agent

The man arrested, Ephraim Benjamin, was allegedly an Israeli Mossad agent who began his operation following the 2011 toppling of the Libyan government that resulted in the murder of Libyan President Moammar Ghaddafi, according to the Israeli website Inian Merkazi, which translates to “Central Issues.”

The Mossad agent reportedly held a leading position in ISIS after mingling with Libyans during the fall of Ghaddafi. He then became a prominent imam of a large mosque in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, before becoming a ISIS leader who commanded a contingent of upwards of 200 terrorists.

Known in Libya as Abu Hafs, the Mossad agent was arrested and accused by Libyan authorities of gathering intelligence information for the Israeli government.

It is believed that Benjamin, aka Hafs, was a Mossad “Arabist,” which are undercover Israeli spies with Arab features, and who speak fluent Arabic in local dialects, according to the Masr Alarabia website.

FixItAgainTony's picture

Don't worry pal, I'm sure the Knesset is going to ask penetrating questions and deliver truth and accountability to the UN security council immediately.

If not, we're always off to our next CB/MIC bloodletting like a sleepwalking amnesiac to try again.

Ban KKiller's picture

Well it SOUNDED good at the time, leave in a nice air conditioned bus! What could go wrong when they were guided by muslim filth? 

Arrest Hillary's picture

I like it when "Vlad the Bad" .... and "Don One" (Don Juan) .... cooperate .... make room for Bibi and Xi .... Northern Latitudes Enlightenment Council ?

Stan522's picture

That's a misleading title....


It should be ISIS getting to skedaddle to safe passage from brokered deal originating in Lebanon and Syria....

koan's picture

Did you really use "loosing" instead of losing? Holy fuck... what an illiterate moron.

quasi_verbatim's picture

When did 'Murica become so sensitive to bombing women and children all of a sudden?

Swampster's picture

It's so anti-semitic to be 'picking off' these fake Arab Terrorists (jews)



Ever wonder why the jew run FBI and the jew run media can't identify these 'NAZI JEWS POSING AS WHITE SUPREMICISTS?




guru69's picture

scared sniveling cunt

DieSocialJusticeWankers's picture

Take out Muslim women...they're easy targets with their stupid clothing...then they can't breed and have 7 kids....

dogismycopilot's picture

If only you guys knew how much money Lebanon gets from the US!

What a cluster fuck Obama created in the Middle East.

I voted for Trump expecting him to clean it up - boy, was I fucking wrong about that!

Stinkytofu's picture

the leaders of two sovereign nations agreed on safe passage

for fighters moving between those two countries.


seems strange for the us-of-a to be bombing them (after

supporting them for so long), in a country they have not

been invited into.


hmmm, and gives the us the pretext to destroy more

syrian infrastructure...bombing roads and strategical



and ohmyladygaga! the optics!!!  poor moderate

rebels stranded in the dessert.....and evil

snipers picking them off as they go pee-pee.

dogismycopilot's picture

But they didn't make Iraq a party to the deal and wanted to dump these shit bags on the Iraqi border.

Iraq has enough of these assholes. Let the Iraqis kill them and let the Lebanese sleep in their bed. They get enough money from the US as it is:

"Since 2005, the US has plowed more than $1.4 billion into the Lebanese Army, providing weapons, equipment, and training – and helping to significantly boost its capabilities."


Stinkytofu's picture

not ON the border, silly rabbit!


in a city in a district that borders on iraq.

in a city that is already held by isis.


in a city in a district bordering on iraq, full of isis,

and for some craaaaazy reason, the us is NOT targeting.


ooooh, that's right....that's one of the locations where

the us is allowing isis from iraq to escape TO, so they

can hopefully target assad.


the BS show in the dessert is just for fun.  try to

embarass assad, and find more reasons/excuses

to destroy syrian infrastructure.

Horse Pizzle's picture

Anihilation is a beautiful thing.

Swampster's picture

Your ignorance and stupidity are shameful... you really believe the IDF/USA Airforce is killing IDF/USA Fighters?

Horse Pizzle's picture

Brennan, Clapper, and their CIA ISIS fucked up.  Termination with extreme prejudice.  They've been killing USArmy and Marines for years.  General Mattis said annihilate them.

robertocarlos's picture

Sacrifices have to be made to keep up the pretext.

Able Ape's picture

IF you are shot by a moderate rebel, are you moderately shot or if you are killed by moderate rebel are you moderately killed?...

JBilyj's picture

ZH is quickly becoming as relevant as my local newspaper, if it's not a clickbait article, they're reporting on stuff that happened 3 days ago.

Swampster's picture

This 'nazi jew IDF Propaganda is in direct respons to the ZH article a few days ago.....The USA is not killing it's own allies...


How fucking dumb are you GOYIM to believe anything that comes from the MIC/'Nazi jew run media?

Robert of Ottawa's picture

Why are they not burnt to a crisp already? So there are "civilians" on board. They all deserve it.

Swampster's picture

because ISUS is us....it's Us and Israel....Only the terminally stupid have still not figured that out.

Benjamin123's picture

Because they surrendered, not unconditionally. It is bad to execute POWs because then the others know they cant surrender, and fight to the death instead.

HK VP9's picture

There are no ISIS 'civilians'. Napalm sticks to all of them. 

Father ¢hristmas's picture

We just airlifted a bunch of ISIS officers out of- errr, I mean, ISIS is on the run, Iraq has never been safer, and we are finally on a road to lasting peace in Yem- I mean, Liby- fuck, I mean, uh, what's the fucking... Syria.  Syria.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Terror-tainment and Weather-tainment.


This used to be a high finance blog.