The Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command has agreed to release 27 captured Islamist militants in exchange for 18 civilians (primarily women and children) that were kidnapped by Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) over the last 8 months.

This is the second prisoner exchange that has been brokered by the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command and the Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Fateh in the northern countryside of the Hama Governorate this year.

According to a military source in Hama Governorate town of Mhardeh, the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command the Jaysh Al-Fateh leadership agreed to exchange the prisoners at the village of Qala’at Al-Madeeq near the Al-Ghaab Plains.

The 18 civilians that were kidnapped by the Islamist rebels were seized from the predominately Shi’i villages of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya; these two sites are currently under a brutal siege imposed by the Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Fateh.

The date and time of this exchange has not been released, but it is expected to occur in the coming days.

Despite this agreement and the previous one, several hundred civilians still remain in the custody of the Islamist rebels – their status is currently unknown.

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