- - Sunday, September 10, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Hezbollah is a large Shiite military/terrorist organization with headquarters in Lebanon and funding by Iran. It is the major power broker in Lebanon and has supported Iran’s efforts in Syria to stabilize the Assad government by fighting against the democratic forces and the Islamic State there.

Recently Hezbollah and the Islamic State reached an agreement to relocate the latter’s forces from near the Lebanese-Syrian border to the Syrian-Iraqi border. The transfer of Islamic State personnel and their families was to be made by bus across Syria with the promise from the Syrian government of safe passage. Since the United States is supporting Iraqi forces against the Islamic State, the U.S. military was against additional Islamic State forces coming into the Iraqi theater of the war and made plans to destroy the buses while they were in transit.

However, when the U.S. Air Force learned that the Islamic State families would be on board the buses, the decision was made not to bomb the buses but instead to prevent the buses from reaching the Iraqi border. This was done by destroying a bridge and putting bomb craters in the road.

The refusal to kill Islamic State terrorists sets a dangerous precedent. Now terrorists know that if they bring their families along, the United States will restrain its military action. This is similar to the terrorist organization, Hamas, using schools and hospitals in Gaza to place their rocket launchers to fire into Israeli towns.

The alternative is to notify terrorists organizations that henceforth terrorists traveling with women and children will be subject to destruction, and that the guilt lies with the terrorists for bringing them along. As Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman said, “War is Hell.”

ARTHUR HORN

East Windsor, N.J.

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