Coalition aircraft on Wednesday bombed a road in Syria to prevent the transport of ISIS fighters after the group struck a deal with Lebanese Hezbollah for safe passage. ISIS and Hezbollah struck a deal to let hundreds of ISIS fighters leave a region near the Lebanon-Syria border in return for the bodies of Lebanese soldiers, according to
The New York Times. The deal was criticized by leaders in the region, including Iraqi President Haider al Abadi. The US-led coalition said
in a statement that it was not a party to any deal and promises by Russian and pro-regime, counter-ISIS parties “ring hollow when they cut deals with and allow terrorists to transit territory under their control.” The coalition will not strike the convoy itself, but did crater the road east near Abu Kamal to “prevent the further transport of ISIS fighters to the border area of our Iraqi partners and struck individual vehicles and fighters that were clearly identified as ISIS.”
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is slowing the implementation of a White House ban on transgender individuals serving in the military by giving an expert panel time to develop a “study and implementation plan” for President Trump’s order. On Aug. 25, the Pentagon received a Presidential Memorandum on “Military Service by Transgender Individuals” and the Pentagon will now convene a panel from both the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security focused on promoting “military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion,” Mattis said in a Tuesday statement. For now, the current policy of allowing currently serving transgender military members to remain will stay. “I expect to issue interim guidance to the force concerning the president’s direction, including any necessary interim adjustments to procedures, to ensure the continued combat readiness of the force until our final policy on this subject is issued,” Mattis said. President Trump’s directive sets an effective date of March 23, 2018.
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