Lebanon holds state funeral for soldiers killed by ISIL
Bodies of 10 soldiers captured in 2014 were recovered last month after army offensive against ISIL along the border with Syria
Lebanon on Friday held a state funeral for 10 of its soldiers captured and killed by ISIL, with president Michel Aoun presiding over the ceremony at the defence ministry near Beirut.
The bodies of the soldiers were recovered late last month following an army offensive to wipe out hundreds of ISIL militants who had occupied parts of the Lebanese-Syria border region since 2014.
The soldiers were kidnapped by the militants during a border raid in 2014. Two of them were killed that same year, while the fate of the remaining eight was unknown until late July when the militants agreed to reveal their burial place in return for their evacuation from the border region to ISIL-held areas in eastern Syria.
A convoy of buses carrying the ISIL fighters and their families left the area for an ISIL-held town in near the Iraqi border on August 28 but has been prevented from reaching its destination by US-led coalition air strikes.
The coalition said it was not party to the evacuation agreement brokered by Hizbollah and the Syrian regime and was preventing the ISIL fighters from heading east for fear they would cross into Iraq.
The convoy has been stuck in the Syrian desert near the town of Al Sukhna for more than a week. The coalition said on Monday that it had allowed food and water deliveries to reach the stranded women and children but warned that it would continue to target any ISIL fighters from the convoy or those trying to make contact with it. Six of the 17 buses in the convoy returned westward into Syrian regime-held territory, the coalition said.
Updated: September 8, 2017 01:47 PM