U.S. airstrikes block evacuation of ISIS militants headed to Iraq
BEIRUT — U.S. airstrikes blocked the advance of an Islamic State convoy carrying militants toward Iraq on Wednesday, derailing a Hezbollah-negotiated deal that removed the extremists from the Lebanon-Syria border, where they have been for years.
The strikes came amid U.S. criticism of the deal, reflecting outrage within the Trump administration over the decision to give the militants safe passage from the battlefield, and Iran-backed Hezbollah’s leading role in it.
The developments were an embarrassment for the U.S.-backed Lebanese military, which had declared victory over the militants. U.S. officials said the airstrikes were intended to send a signal that the deal undermined a U.S.-led strategy for defeating the group in Syria and Iraq.