US Is Obliterating ISIS Fighters Who Sneak Out To Relieve Themselves

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

The U.S. military is obliterating Islamic State fighters that get too far away from their bus convoy to relieve themselves.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the anti-ISIS mission, told Foreign Policy that the U.S. is targeting ISIS fighters one by one as they try to run away or go to the bathroom, with the latest strikes occurring Tuesday evening.

“Whether it’s to evade by foot or to relieve themselves, if they make it far enough out there for us to strike, then we will,” Dillon said.

After 300-500 ISIS fighters and their families recently surrendered to the Syrian government and Hezbollah, ISIS made a deal with the two parties to evacuate an area close to the Lebanese border and head for Deir Ezzor, one of ISIS’ last major strongholds, in 17 buses. The U.S. immediately protested that it had not agreed to this deal, so American aircraft have been disabling roadways and a bridge on the path to Deir Ezzor, in addition to striking fighters one at a time as they separate from the pack of buses.

While the U.S. Central Command has avoided directly striking the bus convoy because of the potential for high civilian casualties, Dillon recently told The New York Times that if the U.S. military has a clear shot at militants, it won’t hesitate to strike.

“If we do identify and find ISIS fighters who have weapons — and like I said, we can discriminate between civilians and ISIS fighters — we will strike when we can. If we are able to do so, we will,” Dillon said.

CENTCOM has allowed food and water to be delivered to the fighters and civilians without interference.

At this point, six buses have returned to Syrian regime-controlled territory, but 11 are still near the Iraq border.

Russia has complained about U.S. efforts to thwart the convoy.

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