Coalition planes leave surveillance of ISIS convoy

Coalition planes leave surveillance of ISIS convoy

Coalition planes leave surveillance of ISIS convoy

The buses themselves, which are packed with civilians believed to be family members, have not been targeted. Instead, US firepower has been turned on any ISIS fighters who venture from the protection of the buses - to stretch their legs, try to escape, or attend to nature's call.

On Thursday, Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon, a coalition spokesman, said the convoy had benefited the anti-ISIS alliance by allowing them to take out dozens of fighters and vehicles they'd otherwise have had to hunt for. "We have struck every ISIS fighter and/or vehicle that has tried to approach that convoy, and that - will continue to do that".

As the stalemate nears the end of its second week, no one seems to know what comes next.

"We are destroying their launch points, we are killing their engineers, we are dismantling their manufacturing facilities and their users", Dillon told reporters and added: "We are ripping apart their ability to use drones and to further get better" at perfecting their drone technology. "We're standing firm (to) do what we can to disrupt ISIS fighters from linking up with their fellow fighters".

The unusual saga began on August 28, when Lebanon's Hezbollah militants and the Syrian government struck a deal with ISIS to remove fighters and their families from their shared border.

With their route made impassable, six buses broke off and headed to territory held by the Syrian government. The remaining 11 have been stuck in the desert for 10 days.

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ISIS has a history of using drones in battle, beginning in 2014 when the group deployed them for the goal of gathering intelligence and producing propaganda films.

At the request of Russia, Coalition surveillance aircraft have left the area where they were monitoring the movements of an ISIS convoy in the Syrian desert.

But U.S., Europe and the West are still bracing for a large influx of Islamic State fighters returning home from the battlefields of the Middle East.

Elaborating on the latest strikes that Dillon said were conducted on Monday, he noted that Abu Anas al-Shami - an Isis weapons research leader who led efforts to procure explosives for the group - was killed during an airstrike near Mayadin, Syria.

Meanwhile, with no end in sight, all sides have continued to blame each other for the situation of the stranded women and children.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, a U.S. military spokesman, said the coalition has not targeted the convoy itself and was permitting food and supplies to reach the stranded vehicles, but he noted about 85 IS fighters either from the convoy or heading by vehicle to link up with it had been picked off.

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