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US Warplanes Stop Shadowing ISIS Convoy at Russia’s Request

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Following a request by the Kremlin, US military assets have stopped shadowing a ISIS convoy stuck behind lines of advancing Syrian army troops.

Syrian army troops covering ground in the desert province of Deir ez-Zour in the country’s eastern territories have now outflanked a ISIS convoy that has been stationary for almost ten days, after US jets bombed the roadway and bridges ahead, preventing its escape to regions in Iraq still controlled by the rapidly-dwindling armed extremist faction.

The US-led coalition against ISIS quickly agreed to a request by Russian forces in the region to stop surveillance on the convoy, streamlining efforts between Russian- and US-backed forces to defeat the extremists, according to a report from the Guardian.

A convoy of an estimated 17 buses containing ISIS militants and their families has dwindled to 11, after six vehicles abruptly returned to their starting points as Syrian army troops close in.

Food and water has been supplied by the Syrian army to those stranded in the face-off in the middle of the desert.

There have been reports of individual fighters escaping the convoy under cover of darkness, even as the noose tightens around the remaining fugitives. An estimated 85 ISIS fighters have been killed attempting to escape from the convoy, according to a US spokesperson.

US military statements assert that no attacks on the convoy have been made in light of the presence of women and children, cited by Stripes.com.

The Pentagon, while declaring its intention to prevent escaping ISIS fighters from reaching safe havens in Iraq, has shifted responsibility for the safety of those in the convoy to the Syrian government.

“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,” according to Army Brigadier General Jon Braga, the coalition’s director of operations, cited by Stars and Stripes.

The Syrian army, with Russian air support, broke a three-year ISIS siege of eastern Syrian territories in the Deir ez-Zour on September 5.

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War zone

Russian Airstrikes Destroy Nusra Front Attacking Military Police in Idlib

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The Russian Defense Ministry has released a video of Russian airstrikes that helped to check the US-initiated offensive by al-Nusra terrorists in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone and break the militants’ siege of a Russian military police unit encircled in the area.

The footage shows armed vehicles being ripped apart by missiles raining down on them by Russian strike fighters and helicopter gunships just as the Syrian Army launched a massive counterattack forcing the jihadists into a retreat.

The al-Nusra Front terrorists used artillery, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles during their offensive to the north and northeast of the city of Hama in the Idlib de-escalation zone penetrating Syrian army defenses to a depth of some 12 kilometers (8 miles).

A statement by the Russian General Staff said that the militants’ attack was “initiated by US secret services to stop the successful advance of government troops to the east of Deir ez-Zor.”
The Americans deny the charges.

A 29-person strong Russian military police unit was encircled and repelled the terrorists’ attacks for several hours fighting alongside members of an allied local tribe until Russian Spetsnaz and Syrian Special Ops units, backed by the Su-25 strike fighters, came to the rescue breaking the enemy siege.

The terrorist offensive has largely been stopped, leaving 850 militants dead and 11 tanks, four armored vehicles and other military hardware completely destroyed.

The Syrian Army, supported by Russian warplanes, launched a counterattack and has almost completely reclaimed its positions in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

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War zone

Israel shot down Iranian-made drone flying near Syrian border

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The Israeli Defense Forces shot a Patriot surface-to-air missile at a Hezbollah-operated drone Tuesday that had crossed the “Bravo line” demarcating the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria, an IDF spokesman told the Jerusalem Post.

Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis told the outlet the unmanned aerial vehicle took off from Damascus and began approaching Israel on an intelligence-gathering mission. The Raytheon missile successfully intercepted the drone after which it crashed in the Syrian town of Quneitra, according to the IDF official.

Iranian drones have proven to be a thorn in the side of the US Navy. F/A-18 Super Hornets attempting a landing on the deck of the USS Nimitz in early August, forcing the US jet to take evasive action.

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