When ISIS fighters fled Raqqa, their makeshift headquarters, after their humiliating defeat at the hands of the coalition forces, there was no option but to cover their backs on their way toward the border and out of Syria. There was so much riding on their escape, since their defeat earlier in Mosul, their numbers were depleted and a reconstitution of their forces needed to happen if they intended on fight on in the future.
During the Obama years, ISIS had grown into a viable force that rivaled even the American-trained Iraqi armies. Due to Obama’s hands-off approach to the “JV Team,” many innocent people ended up paying the price with their lives, including women, children, and the elderly, Muslim and Christian alike. Trump’s approach to ISIS was vastly different and his generals and admirals met ISIS head-on, forcing them to flee in all directions.
So when the ISIS fighters were nearing the border of Syria recently, they were somewhat surprised by the presence of a force they had not expected to see there. While they were chased, harassed and harried, they had not seen a lot of US military action for many weeks. Until now. While investigating a stalled caravan, the US forces showed up and completely took the ISIS fighters off-balance, having laid the trap perfectly!
Stars and Stripes:
An attempt by Islamic State to evacuate hundreds of fighters from western Syria to the Iraqi border has instead left them sitting ducks for aerial attacks by the U.S.-led coalition on the convoy.
“We were able to exploit it and take advantage,” Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon, a coalition spokesman, said of the ISIS maneuver Thursday morning as 11 buses full of ISIS fighters and civilians remained stranded in the Syrian desert.
U.S. warplanes continue to pick off militants who stray too far from the protection of the convoy’s women and children, officials said. Strikes have also destroyed militant vehicles coming to the area from ISIS-held territory.
“Like moths to the flame,” more than 40 vehicles have come to try to aid the convoy, including armored technical vehicles and a tank disguised as a truck, Dillon said. “We were able to continue to just observe and pick them off one at a time.”
More than 300 ISIS fighters and about as many women and children had set off about 10 days ago from an enclave on the Lebanon-Syria border after surrendering and brokering a deal with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group for safe passage through Syrian government-held territory. They rode on 17 buses bound for extremist-held areas farther east.
But the U.S.-led coalition, which was not a party to the agreement, quickly scrambled to block their progress.
Airstrikes cratered the roadway, disabled a bridge and stranded the convoy in no man’s land between Syrian- and ISIS-held territory on the border with Iraq. This forced six buses to turn back toward the city of Palmyra — and the protection of the Syrian army and Hezbollah.
One the most intriguing things about ISIS (or Middle East soldiers in general) is that they are always hungry for weapons, clothing, food, water and money. Most of these soldiers are under-supplied, under-fed, thirsty and broke, and their clothing is usually tattered and threadbare. Saddam Hussein’s “crack” forces were easily some of the most pathetic forces our US military had ever come across back in the day.
To say that these ISIS warriors descended on the trap caravan like “moths to the flame” is probably an understatement. It was probably more like CNN to an anti-Trump protest! That’d probably be more accurate.
Source: Stars and Stripes