United States prevents evacuation of IS fighters

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Nasrallah said earlier this week that two Hezbollah fighters would be released soon as part of an ongoing deal with Daesh for transfer to eastern Syria.

Lebanon's Hezbollah movement on Saturday accused US-led forces of stranding a convoy of Daesh fighters and civilians headed for Syria's Deir Ezzor province under an evacuation deal.

The Hezbollah-negotiated deal angered Iraq and the US and a convoy carrying around 300 militants and as many family members has been stuck since early this week in a government-controlled area in the desert outside Deir el-Zour province.

He told the Pentagon they hadn't attacked the convoy but had struck every IS fighter or vehicle trying to reach it and will continue to do so.

But the planned relocation of the fighters to a town right on the Iraqi border, where they would have easily been able to reinforce militants in Iraq, infuriated many Iraqis.

The Lebanese Hezbollah group, which negotiated the controversial agreement, said it had received the body of Mohsen Hojaji and would conduct DNA tests before sending his remains onward to Iran.

"He [Assad] told me, this is embarrassing for us, but no problem", Nasrallah told supporters gathered in eastern Lebanon for a "victory rally" to celebrate the expulsion of ISIS from the border area.


Syrian president Bashar Al Assad gave prayers on Friday for Eid Al Adha festival in the town of Qara, near the enclave surrendered on Monday by the ISIL fighters.

The strike destroyed a small bridge and caused a crater in the road that the buses meant to take.

"Terrorism has taken control of our northern and eastern borders, and the army has prevented the transformation of the northern border and its villages into a haven for terrorists", he said.

But the coalition says it and Iraq were not part of the deal and on Wednesday bombed the road ahead of the convoy.

Meanwhile, in central Syria, government forces captured wide areas from IS under the cover of Russian airstrikes forcing hundreds of people to flee to government-controlled areas as well as areas run by insurgent groups.

Anger erupted after photographs showing the armed IS fighters travelling across Syria in air-conditioned buses - one of them marked with the words "Happy Journey" - began circulating on social media.

Russia, which is providing air support to Assad's forces, said capturing the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province is the current military priority.

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