Earlier this week, Iranian and Turkish officials facilitated an agreement between Syrian Arab Army/Hezbollah and Jabhat Al-Nusra/Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham to implement a 48 hour ceasefire in the resort-city of Al-Zabadani in the Rif Dimashq Governorate and the predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya in the Idlib Governorate.

While the 48 ceasefire agreement was to set to begin on Thursday, complications between the two opposing parties arose after Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” demanded that a number of their militants – currently in Syrian prisons – be released along with the completion of their other demands they presented to the Turkish officials on Monday.

Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s insistency on the release of their captured militants delayed the implementation of the 48 ceasefire agreement; however, Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army officers did not budge – furthermore, the dire situation for the Islamist rebels in Al-Zabadani has left them crippled during these negotiations.

According to a military source in Damascus, Turkey and Iran agreed that the original agreement between the two opposing parties should be honored; therefore, the recent demands were declared null-and-void.

The 48 hour ceasefire terms are as followed: the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah will allow for the wounded Islamist rebels to be transported from Al-Zabadani to an undisclosed location for treatment, along with a prisoner exchange of non-combatants; meanwhile, the Islamist rebels will allow for the Syrian Government to deliver aid to the towns of Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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