“Like moths to a flame!”
File this story under “Feel Good Friday“.
US warplanes are picking off Islamic State militants who are drawn “like moths to the flame” of a stranded convoy evacuating hundreds of terrorists from Syria to the Iraqi border, according to a report on Thursday.
“We were able to exploit it and take advantage,” Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon, a coalition spokesman, said as buses and trucks full of Islamic State fighters and their families were halted in the Syrian desert, The Stars and Stripes reported.
“Like moths to the flame,” Dillon described the more than 40 vehicles, including armored vehicles and a tank disguised as a truck, that came to aid the hapless convoy. “We were able to continue to just observe and pick them off one at a time.”
U.S. officials say about 300 ISIS fighters were part of the original group, accompanied by a similar number of civilians who were most likely family members.
The fighters had been headed from Lebanon to a Syrian town near the Iraq border as part of an evacuation deal negotiated between Daesh and Hezbollah, which has intervened in the war in neighboring Syria to prop up the Damascus government.
The evacuation agreement ended separate near 10-day offensives against Daesh [ISIS] by Hezbollah and the Syrian army in Syrian western Qalamoun and by the Lebanese Army from near Ras Baalbeck and Al-Qaa in Lebanon. The militants had been entrenched in the mountainous border areas since 2014 when they were pushed out of the nearby town of Arsal that was briefly overun by Daesh and Jabhat Fatashal-Sham – previously known as the Nusra Front.
To add even more joy to this news, it is being reported that coalition airstrikes killed two senior ISIS leaders in Syria. These two particular terrorists were important to the group’s weapons engineering.
Abu Anas al-Shami, an ISIS weapons research leader, was killed by a Coalition airstrike near Mayadin, Syria. Al-Shami led ISIS’s attempts to procure explosives and devised plans to use bombs for external terror attacks. Al-Shami also oversaw the building of improvised explosives to rig corpses, vehicles and buildings against local forces and civilians to inflict terror, death and destruction.
Junaid ur Rehman, a senior ISIS drone pilot trainer and engineer, was killed by a Coalition airstrike in the village of al-Ashara, Syria, south of Mayadin. Rehman was an experienced engineer who was working to increase ISIS’s ability to weaponize drones and to conduct aerial surveillance on the battlefield and plot attacks throughout the world.
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